Graduating speech by Ms Trudy Davidson, Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Conservation Biology)

Good evening Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and President, University staff, family, friends and my fellow graduates.

To begin I would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of all the dedicated students who are graduating today.Iamhonoured to represent all of you, however different our degrees may be. Our goal of finishing our degrees is now complete and this feeling of success is mutual.

For all of us the past 3, 4 or more years have been a journey. This journey has involved so much dedication, focus, commitment, and passion and we wouldn’t be here today without all the support, love and encouragement we have been given from our wonderful family, friends, and significant others, who have sometimes put up with us whinging, stressing out and with not much time to spare for them. But because they are the amazing supportive people they are, they stuck by us and helped us through to the end. On behalf of all the graduates today, we thank you with all our heart.

And so our journey ends…

Today, our journey has now come to an end. Many of us juggled countless commitments while studying, and at times we have all felt like giving in. Well, we didn’t and now we can finally smile and look back on uni and look forward to using our newly acquired knowledge and passions… and also stop eating so many two minute noodles.

We all began with big dreams of what we could do once we had the knowledge from our degrees. For many of us we changed our minds along the way, once, maybe twice or even continuously, for what we wanted to be and do after we graduated. For me, I feel this thought process of thinking and challenging what we know is important as it lets us unlock the person we can become, igniting the passions we all have. Every day we thought of new ideas, and how we could change the world we live in, and what we could do with the rest our life. All because of the amazing and inspiring people teaching and supporting us at Griffith. Thank you for all your help. Everyone’s university experience is different but we all have similarities. We all have met some amazing people, we all have opened new doors for our next life chaptersandwe all have learned that chocolate coated coffee beans help get us through assignment and exam periods (or maybe that’s just me). We have all gone through so much hard work, stress, effort, stress, learning,carpal tunnel, stress, and did I say stress? But all of this hard work has now paid off and, of course, some fun was had along the way.

The quality of learning

Many people think university is a typical classroom situation, but at Griffith, within my degree, my classmates and I have been able to learn in completely different environments. We travelled to Borneo, Nepal and outback Queensland where for a few weeks at a time we were immersed completely in our learning, and our passion for courses that contribute to our education and where we gained so much knowledge. Griffith has offered us so much more than a uni experience. Monitoring research sites in a forest where rhinos, tigers and elephants reside…you don’t get that experience often. I want to thank Griffith and the organisers of these research courses for the quality of learning that we have undergone.

The power of knowledge

‘When you know more you can do more.’ How often have we heard that over the years? Well finally we can do more, more of things we believe in, our passions, and challenge ourselves, and all this is because we know more, this is what Griffith has given us.

We now have the power of knowledge, and we will continue to gain knowledge into the future because of these years we have spent studying. My fellow graduates you should all be so proud, all our hard work has been rewarded.

I’d like to finish with a saying by Edward Koch ‘The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse’

Remember when you leave here today, don’t ever forget the reason you started your study. Use that passion to strike the match to light your fuse

Thank you.

Ms Trudy Davidson was awarded her Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Conservation Biology) degree at the Gold Coast Convention and Entertainment Centre, Wednesday 31 July 2013.