Graduates inspire hope at CQUni Emerald Ceremony

Published:11 February 2020

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp (left), Associate Vice-Chancellor’s Central Highlands Region Medal recipient Cassandra Pickard, Associate Vice-Chancellor (Central Highlands Region) Anita Milroy and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement, Campuses, and Mackay-Whitsunday Region) Pierre Viljoen.

CQUniversity has celebrated its first graduation of 2020 with 18 vocational and higher education students crossing the stage in Emerald today (11 February) to officially signify the end of their studies and the start of their futures.

Graduates gathered with family and friends at the Calvary Christian Church for the ceremony.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Nick Klomp congratulated the graduates on their achievements.

Cassandra Pickard, a well-known local with several significant milestones in the sport of weightlifting, also received her Certificate III in Fitness and the Associate Vice-Chancellor’s Central Highlands Region Medal.

“I’m very incredibly flattered and honoured to receive the Associate Vice-Chancellor’s Central Highlands Region Medal,” she said.

“I never realised how big a graduation ceremony is, so I’m just overwhelmed.”

Since completing her course in October, Cass has already gained a foothold in the fitness industry, managing two gymnasiums in the Emerald area.

“I’m now managing Stadium Premier Fitness, but before that I managed Generations,” she said.

“While I was at Stadium I was offered the position to manage the brand new massive gym that’s going to be opening in mid-March.

“There’s a lot going on but I know I’m going to be prepared thanks to the Certificate III.”

And she still has to compete in the Queensland titles for weightlifting in May.

Hayley Soutar, who graduated with a Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology delivered the Graduates Representative Speech.

“Fellow Graduates the size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire, the size of your dreams and how you handle disappointment along the way,” Hayley said.

“We now have the knowledge and tooling backed by the support to go wherever we want in our lives and careers.

“Just remember, opportunities don’t just happen, you have to create them. Think about your one-year goal, five-year goal, 10-year-goal and so on. Find a mentor that wants to see you succeed as much as their own success.”

Other graduates included Melissa Kliese graduated with two qualifications – an Associate Degree of Occupational Health and Safety and a Graduate Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety.

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