Jozo Frankovic believes in the power of education to change lives.
On Thursday the former refugee graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Dean’s Scholar) from the University of Wollongong.
The German-born 22-year-old arrived in Australia when he was just four-years-old, with his parents, who are from Bosnia Herzegovina.
‘’Coming to Australia as a refugee very early on it was instilled by my parents the value of family, the value of community and the value of education,’’ Mr Frankovic said.
‘’And looking back at my journey it is really education that's carried me through and opened up so many doors for myself.
‘’Coming now to the point where I have graduated from my first degree, I’ve had that great experience, I’ve really seen throughout my journey the power that education has to change people’s lives.
‘’That’s why I’ve always been inspired to give back to the community as much as I can through education and through music, and it is really something that will guide me as I progress through my careers as well into the future.’’
Majoring in accounting and finance, Mr Frankovic is very analytical and loves numbers and maths.
But his true passion is music, especially playing Croatian music.
‘’For me music is really a window to the soul,’’ Mr Frankovic said.
‘’You can bring out the rawest human emotions and share it with people around you.’’
One of Mr Frankovic’s biggest thrill in recent times was travelling to the Croatian capital of Zagreb to perform for the Croatian prime minister.
This year he also had the ‘’honour’’ of performing for the visiting Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, when she was in Sydney as part of an Australian tour.
Meantime, renowned geologist and geochemist Professor Allan Chivas, was awarded an Emeritus Professorship.
Prof Chivas was instrumental in creating the School of Geosciences at UOW. He has also worked on geological landscapes throughout the world.
Ms Mona Nikidehagnani also graduated on Thursday.
The PhD student from Iran undertook a PhD to prove that women can study while at the same time give voice to people with disabilities. Her research examines 100 years of disability welfare.