YEARS of hard work culminated in the University of Newcastle graduation at the Glasshouse on February 17.
The ceremony recognised nine postgraduate students, 62 undergraduate students and four enabling pathway students.
UON Vice-Chancellor and president Professor Caroline McMillen congratulated all graduates on their achievements and for embarking on the next stage of their careers.
“Graduation is an important milestone for our students that recognises years of hard work and commitment,” she said.
“Employers in the Port Macquarie region and beyond will benefit from the skills and experience of more than 70 graduates with a world-class tertiary education across teaching, nursing and midwifery.”
The right university and the right campus combined to make Joshua Paulson’s registered nursing dreams come true.
Mr Paulson was one of three Indigenous nursing graduates to take to the stage at the University of Newcastle Port Macquarie graduation ceremony on February 17.
“I am very proud and very happy,” Mr Paulson said.
Experience as an enrolled nurse gave Mr Paulson an upper hand when he came to tackle the University of Newcastle nursing degree.
Mr Paulson, now armed with a registered nurse qualification, is about to start medicine through UON’s Joint Medical Program.
Mr Paulson, a Worimi and Baudjalung man who grew up at Biripi country at Taree, said he was attracted to the health profession because he wanted to help people.
“It’s a way I can give back to my community and other Indigenous communities, because the health disparities between our mob and the rest of Australia are not the greatest,” he said.
UON enrols more than 1000 Indigenous students, the largest number of any Australian university, and has graduated almost half the country’s Indigenous doctors through the Joint Medical Program.
Professor McMillen said the university was also delighted to recognise the success of our Indigenous nursing students this year, which builds on UON’s commitment to Indigenous education and reflects our steady increase in Indigenous enrolments, particularly in the health and medical fields.
The UON Port Macquarie campus is set to welcome just over 100 new students to start their studies in 2017.