More than 1500 University of Wollongong students will don mortarboards and be handed their testamurs during the latest round of graduation ceremonies this week.
The autumn graduations will feature undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts; the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health; and the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Thirty-eight PhDs will be among the 1523 graduands to be acknowledged during six graduation ceremonies.
At 68, Geoffry Hall is the oldest graduand, completing a Graduate Diploma in Vocational Education and Training.
The impact and achievements of notable people will also be recognised through a number of honorary awards.
Since its foundation, UOW has awarded more than 138,000 degrees and diplomas. The autumn graduations conclude on Thursday.
Hallasso twins’ double act
These sisters have taken the meaning of a double degree to a whole new level.
Meet Michelle and Rochelle Hallasso – the 23-year-old twins who have just graduated with a double degree from the University of Wollongong.
The sisters, from the southern Sydney suburb of Illawong, were each awarded a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws at Tuesday morning’s graduation ceremony.
Both have been passionate about law from a young age, Rochelle said, adding the appeal of a commerce degree came from within their family.
“I think we got the business side of things from my dad because he’s run a business his whole life and we just always admired that about him,” Rochelle told the Mercury. “So I think that passion came from a young age and it kind of grew with us.”
Rochelle said the time spent with Michelle at university during their five-year degrees was “one of our best experiences that we’ve had”.
“Having someone with you throughout the whole thing was something, I think, really special,” she said. “You could share your stress, you could share your joys with someone really close to you.
“I think it was one of the best things that we went through together; just having someone there to lean on.”
The twins have spent plenty of time together growing up, sharing the highs and lows. Their time at uni was no different. “There were moments where we wanted to kill each other,” Rochelle said. “Doing a law degree together obviously comes with stress, so we would get to each other at times, but just knowing that she’s there at the end of the day is what made it great.”
The Hallasso twins were among 279 students – from the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health; and the Faculty of Law, Humanities – who graduated during Tuesday’s morning session.
Doctor Adi Paterson, the chief executive of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), was the session’s guest speaker.
Dr Paterson – who has extensive experience in national and international science, innovation and energy policy domains and the nuclear fuel cycle – was also the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa).
An additional 251 students, from the Faculty of Social Sciences, graduated on Tuesday afternoon.