After years of juggling study, work commitments and families, graduates from Charles Sturt University said goodbye to the books on Wednesday with a sigh of relief, having officially completed their degrees.
For graduate Ashley Redman, of Wodonga, and his partner Kiera, the achievement marked the end of a busy few years.
Mr Redman achieved his Bachelor of Physiotherapy over four years while studying full time and working as a personal trainer and an accountant.
Midway through his course, the pair had a baby, Evie, adding a few sleepless nights to the university timetable.
Now 22 months, Evie was at the ceremony, not quite sure what was going on, but happy to clap for her dad and steal his mortar board.
“It made life a little more interesting, Evie being born midway through the degree,” Mr Redman said.
“It was intense but we managed.
“We got there.”
It was Mr Redman’s second degree, having previously studied to achieve his Bachelor of Accounting.
For friends Fern Boehringer, 23, Laura White, 22, and Aliecha Lamprey, 23, originally of Devenport, Dubbo and Kyabram respectively, Charles Sturt University not only gave them education opportunities, but also brought them together.
“We all lived together in our first year in Albury, we were placed in campus accommodation,” Ms Boehringer said.
“I’m really proud of everyone, the whole cohort really it was a great year, there were only 11 of us in Speech Pathology so we were very tight knit.”
Now university is over the three will be going their separate ways, Mrs Boehringer staying in Albury, Ms Lamprey moving to Canberra and Ms White returning to Dubbo, but they said they were very lucky to have gone through their studies together.
As a girl, Olivia Campbell, now 25, broke her hand, now she’s stoked to be a trained physiotherapist – even though she admits as a child she wasn’t too interested what her physio said.
“I love the human body and activity and want to help make a difference,” she said.
After five years studying full time at CSU, Ms Campbell graduated with her Bachelor of Physiotherapy, with distinction, and has already got a job in a Wagga private practice.
For Diane Hughes, Wednesday’s graduation marked the end of six years studying and working towards her PhD.
As part of her studies Dr Hughes conducted a study involving many Albury-Wodonga residents hoping to find out more about Parkinson's disease.
“I’ve had a long standing interest in Parkinson’s disease because it affects so many people and is such a horrific disease to go through so I wanted to try and help,” she said.
“I looked at red blood cell shape and function in Parkinson’s disease and I was looking to see if inflammation in the whole person’s body plays a role in Parkinson’s disease.
“I made a couple of small discoveries that suggest that that is an important part of the process.
“I’ve had a long standing interest in Parkinson’s disease because it affects so many people and is such a horrific disease to go through so I wanted to try and help with better diagnosis and disease monitoring with medications.”
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