Guest speaker set to inspire graduates to be who they want
LIFE in Bundaberg is beginning to return to normal after a turbulent year, with CQUniversity set to host their first in-person graduation ceremony since the pandemic first hit.
A total of 56 students from Australia, Singapore, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Philippines will attend the local event today, where they will receive qualifications for their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
Additionally, five graduating indigenous students will receive cultural sashes.
With almost two decades of experience working as a leader for the not-for-profit sector, managing director of IMPACT Community Services Tanya O’Shea has also been announced as the guest speaker of the local event, making it the second graduation ceremony where she has delivered a speech.
“I feel privileged to be part of it and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity,” Ms O’Shea said.
“Let’s go with nervous excitement and a hint of vulnerability – that sense of nervousness is not so much about speaking in public but more about whether the key messages will resonate with the audience.”
After graduating from CQUniversity with two degrees, including a Bachelor of psychology (honours) and a masters of business administration, Ms O’Shea has flourished in her field and gone on to obtain various board positions.
The guest speaker said she will deliver a speech with CQUniversity’s tag line ‘be what you want to be’, in mind as it resonates with her personally.
“Using the tag line as my inspiration, my presentation will focus on my journey, dropping out of university and the reason why I returned to university after a 12-year hiatus,” Ms O’Shea said.
“My intention is to inspire people to find and live their purpose, gain self-insight, be aware of the impact that they have on others and find their own lane instead of comparing themselves to others.
“Above all, the presentation will aim to encourage people to live a life filled with purpose and no regret; a life where they can choose to be what they want to be.”
And while COVID-19 presented unexpected challenges for all students, whether they be high school seniors, completing their first year in tertiary studies or graduates, Ms O’Shea said it was important to visualise the outcome that you want for yourself during the testing times.
“When studying my undergraduate degree while working full-time and with two children under five, there were days when I just wanted to give up,” she said.
“Your choice to study, to learn and to grow, that comes with sacrifice … studying requires grit, persistence and practice (and) you have to be prepared to do the work, dig in when it gets hard and remember the reward at the end.
“The thing that kept me going was that visual of me standing in that gown at the graduation ceremony.”
Following the Queensland Government’s safety regulations, attendance has been capped to invitation only with loved ones encouraged to watch the ceremony, which will be lifestreamed on the University’s Graduation YouTube channel.
The first campus graduation since COVID-19 will be held at the Bundaberg Multiplex on Thursday, November 12, from 2pm.