Making a courageous return to study after 25 years, Tanya Laker (pictured) told her inspirational story to fellow students, friends and family during CDU’s mid-year graduation ceremony last week.
The CDU graduand joined more than 100 other students to receive formal recognition of their higher education or vocational studies during the ceremony held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre, Friday June 20.
The Certificate IV in Financial Services student gave the response on behalf of the graduates, speaking about her decisions to move well out of her comfort zone and the great satisfaction she gained in returning to the classroom.
“My experience as a mature age student attending Charles Darwin University in Alice Springs has been a fantastic and courageous one,” she said.
“And the dedication and commitment of my lecturers at the university was most memorable.”
Her response followed an animated address by former Deputy Administrator of the Northern Territory, Mr Ted Egan AO.
A prizes and awards ceremony and lunch held on campus earlier that day allowed the local community and industry to acknowledge the many achievers across ages and qualifications.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Garnett attended both events and said it was a great pleasure to see students succeed.
“At this celebration day it is wonderful to see the variety of students who are benefitting and taking the challenge to better themselves,” she said.
A snapshot of the graduands included regional community Essential Service Operators employed in outstations, high school students completing the VET in Schools program and mature-age tertiary business graduates.
Alice Springs Town Council Lord Mayor Damien Ryan attended the prizes ceremony and spoke of the council’s donation of scholarships.
“Town council is always interested in education as it is crucial to help the town grow and we are very proud to give scholarships this year,” he said.
“From certificate one to higher education degrees, it’s clear that there are many people striving towards a better life and that is very rewarding to see.”
Alice Springs campus administrator Dianne Underwood extended her thanks to the local community for its support.
“We really appreciate their efforts in providing awards and scholarships to these students, many of whom will return skills and energy back to the Territory,” she said.
“In particular, the campus is grateful towards the Alice Springs Town Council, TIO and Northern Territory Treasury as three significant local scholarship contributors amongst many others,” she said.