CDU student achievement celebrated at Alice Springs ceremonies 


The achievements of Charles Darwin University (CDU) students were celebrated en-masse last Friday with prize giving and graduation ceremonies held in Alice Springs on the same day.

Awards for outstanding achievement in course areas were presented by local business and organisational representatives to 66 students across the three faculties at a lunchtime ceremony in the University’s Desert Lantern training restaurant.

Representing the Dean of the Law, Business and Arts Faculty, Hospitality and Tourism Head of School Morag McGrath highlighted the local achievements within the faculty during the first semester.

These included the bachelor of business being delivered to Alice Springs students via video link for the first time and the nomination of business lecturer Maritana Richards for the Australian Institute of Management Awards of Excellence by her students.

The audience also heard of CDU’s record number of enrolments in music, one of whom has won through to the next stage of Australian Idol and an invitation to one of CDU’s visual arts students to exhibit overseas.

Mrs McGrath also reflected on the University’s dedication to delivery in remote areas, using the example that 50 per cent of hospitality and tourism staff from the Alice Springs Campus are off-campus delivering training to communities in remote locations at any given time.

The Alice Springs Campus Administrator, Dianne Underwood, paid tribute to the support CDU receives from local industry and community organisations and acknowledged the role of CDU staff.

“The educational achievements of these students are a joint effort which involves everyone who works in the University,” she said.

The Alice Springs Convention Centre was the setting for the annual graduation ceremony for Alice Springs students in the evening.

For the first time since CDU’s inception, honorary doctorates were awarded to two prominent Alice Springs figures, in recognition of their contribution to Australia and particularly the Northern Territory.

The Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa was conferred upon the NT’s Deputy Administrator Pat Miller for her work on reconciliation and using educational programs as a means of diverting Aboriginal clients from the legal system.

The same award was presented to historian Dick Kimber who has a long connection with Indigenous people in Central Australia and has dedicated the past two decades to improving inter-cultural knowledge and understanding of people and places in the region through his writings and lectures.

In all, 583 students graduated from Vocational Education and Higher Education courses, 35 more than last year.

The student response at the graduation ceremony was given by two-time scholarship recipient Brenda Shields, a 55-year old Indigenous student graduating from a Certificate III in Business and continuing with her certificate IV.