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Graduation ceremony marks a time of growth and transition

Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University

Environmental science student and Bali bomb survivor, Hanabeth Luke, will be awarded First Class Honours at the Southern Cross University graduation ceremony in Lismore.

Ms Luke will join around 250 graduands in the University’s street procession and graduation ceremony to mark the transition from study to working life.

2012 is a milestone year for Ms Luke.

Next month she will return to Bali to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sari Club car bomb that claimed the life of her partner and hundreds of others. And in a fortnight her memoir Shock Waves: Finding peace after the Bali bomb will be published.

“The journey to Bali with my brother for the memorial ceremonies on October 12 will mark the end of a 10 year cycle for me,” Ms Luke said.

“It has been a huge learning curve and a time of immense growth.”

Once the initial shock and trauma had eased and after campaigning against the war on Iraq (including a televised debate in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair where she told him the war was wrong), Ms Luke returned home to Byron Bay to complete her degree at SCU in 2004.

“Knowledge is power. It’s how you can be in a position to create positive change in society,” she said.

With the support of senior lecturer Dr David Lloyd, Ms Luke decided she was ready for more study in 2011 and completed her Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours). Her research year focused on communication tools for community groups for which she received First Class Honours.

“David helped build up my confidence during my Honours. He has believed in me the whole time I’ve been at SCU,” she said.

Now as a PhD candidate, Hanabeth is looking at community responses to coal seam gas (CSG). During the recent NSW local government elections she conducted an exit poll of Lismore residents to understand more about the community perspective on CSG.

The street procession will be full of pomp and colour as the Lismore City Pipe Band leads University Council members, academic staff, professional staff and graduands through the Lismore CBD.

Family, friends and members of the public are encouraged to line the streets to cheer them on.

Lismore local master craftsman Geoffrey Hannah will act as Esquire Bedell (the University’s ceremonial officer) and carry the Mace before the Chancellor The Hon John Dowd AO QC. Mr Hannah, a Churchill Fellow and Honorary Fellow of Southern Cross University, designed and made the University Mace, which at more than a metre long, weighs two kilograms and is made from local black bean timber.

The procession starts at 10am at the Browns Creek/Clyde Campbell Car Park in Molesworth Street, before proceeding along Woodlark and Keen Streets and ending at the corner of Magellan and Keen Streets.

The graduation ceremony will be held in the Trinity Sport Hall at Trinity Catholic College in Dawson Street starting at 11am. This is a ticketed event only.

Giving the occasional address is Gregory Prior (M Ed (SCU), B Ed (UoW), Dip Teach (NRCAE)), the deputy director-general, schools, for the NSW Department of Education and Communities. Last month Mr Prior was named joint Southern Cross University Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2012 at an awards ceremony in Byron Bay. He graduated with a Diploma of Teaching from the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education in 1975 before completing a Master of Education from SCU in 1996.

Students will graduate from the Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, School of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Education, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, School of Health and Human Sciences, School of Law and Justice, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Southern Cross Business School.

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