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Sydney's Notre Dame University Marks 10th Anniversary with Landmark Graduation

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
15 Apr 2016

More than 800 students were part of the university's largest ever graduation ceremony on Tuesday night

More than 800 graduates of The University of Notre Dame Australia gathered for the first ever graduation ceremonies in the Sydney Town Hall on Tuesday 12 April; a fitting tribute to mark the 10th anniversary of the University's Sydney Campus.

Close to 4000 people filled the Town Hall for two ceremonies with 800 students being conferred their degrees supported by benefactors, donors, academic and departmental staff, friends, family and other members of the Notre Dame community.

The highest achieving graduates delivered the Farewell Addresses at each of the two ceremonies - Emily Gallagher (Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and Arts), and Sr Luka Juenemann (Bachelor of Philosophy).

Emily began at Notre Dame in 2012 and had the distinction of being a high performer throughout her course, earning four Dean's Letters of Commendation between 2013 and 2015 in recognition of her academic achievements, as well as the Vice Chancellor's Medal for the School of Education in 2013. Additionally, Emily received the following awards within the School of Arts & Sciences: The First Year History Prize for 2012, The Upper Level History Prize for 2014 and the School of Arts & Sciences Prize for Individual Achievement.

The Sydney Town Hall was filled to capacity for the
graduation ceremony

Sr Luka commenced her Bachelor of Theology, majoring in Philosophy, at Notre Dame in 2010.  A high performer throughout her course, Sr Luka earnt four Dean's Letters of Commendation in recognition of her academic achievements, as well as the Vice Chancellor's Medal for the School of Philosophy & Theology in 2010 and 2011. Additionally, in 2011, Sr Luka was awarded the Bishop Anthony Fisher OP Prize for achieving the best performance in Ethics.

Professor Celia Hammond, Notre Dame's Vice Chancellor, congratulated the graduates and spoke of the pride the University had in being a part of each student's life pilgrimage. "But do not think that your pilgrimage is over, this graduation is not and should not be thought of as the destination, rather, your graduation is a step along the way, a checkpoint, a door opening as you continue your individual life pilgrimage," Professor Hammond said.

The University's recently confirmed Chancellor, Peter Prendiville, said the day marked both the end of one journey of discovery and the beginning of another. "We hope that during your time here you will have sharpened your intellect, pursued a deeper awareness and understanding, developed a passion for life and learning  - and had a great deal of fun along the way," Mr Prendiville said in his address to the graduates.

It was also a momentous occasion for 16 graduates who were conferred higher degrees by research: 

  • François Fontaneau (Master of Arts)
  • Vivek Eranki and Tamara Catherine Preda (Master of Medicine / Surgery).
  • The Master of Philosophy was awarded to: Gary Carey (Education), Jennifer Chu (Education),  Thomas Flynn (Philosophy & Theology), John Jang (Philosophy & Theology), Jessica Leach (Philosophy & Theology), Matthew Leslie (Philosophy & Theology), Giorgio Nulley (Philosophy & Theology) Mark Rosenthal (Nursing), Annie Sandrussi (Philosophy & Theology).
  • The Doctor of Philosophy was awarded to: Annmarie Hosie (Nursing), Catherine Morgan (Medicine), Stephanie Smith (Education) Louise St Guillaume (Arts and Sciences).

University Chancellor Peter Prendville addresses the graduands and their guests

The celebrations continued with the Sydney Campus Academic Awards Ceremony at St Benedict's Hall on Wednesday 13 April, where Joel Maamary from the School of Medicine received the 2015 University Medal. The University Medal, is awarded to the highest achieving student to graduate from an undergraduate course on the Sydney Campus in 2015, using all grades for their course.