Delighted Brisbane sisters had double the excitement when they received their hard-earned doctorates from Griffith University this week.

Dr Hellene Demosthenous and Dr Catherine Demosthenous graduated from Griffith’s School of Education and Professional Studies with guidance from common supervisors.

Both agree the support from each other in their academic career has played a critical role in the long and challenging research process.

Hellene said she was encouraged by her sister to undertake university studies and her PhD-research explored communication in the deep hypnotic state.

“Catherine encouraged me to start university-studies and she has been a tremendous support over the years” Hellene said.

“My research looked at how the hypnotist and the client interact in deep hypnosis. It’s fascinating how the deeply hypnotised person can communicate in a vey organised and systematic way.”

Catherine who went back to high-school as a single parent in her early 30s said she was delighted to be awarded Doctor of Education.

“My sister and I are the first generation in our family to go to university. This is a proud moment for us,” Catherine said.

“My research explored interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at Australian universities. I examined their language to explore race matters, particularly social inclusion and exclusion issues.”

“I’m deeply grateful for the support from Griffith’s Faculty of Education, Gumurrii Student Support Unit, the Elder-in-Residence program, the Indigenous Researchers Network and, of course, my supervisors.”

Catherine’s research has been nominated for the Australian Association for Research in Education award.

Before starting their research higher degrees, they completed undergraduate studies at Griffith.