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Around 230 NorthTec graduates took the opportunity to share their success with family, friends and community when they paraded proudly through Whangarei town centre on the annual graduation day held last Friday (11 March).
There were two separate ceremonies, both held at Forum North, for students graduating with degrees and diplomas from different subject areas. Both groups joined together for the traditional lunchtime march through the town, led by the sound of bagpipes.
The successful former students included two sisters from the Hokianga who graduated from the same class with degrees in Applied Social Service, and five NorthTec staff members who had all combined their studies with work.
Guest speaker was Dr Mataroria Lyndon, a Northland-born doctor who specialises in public health, and student valedictorian was Daniel Tattersall, a Bachelor of Applied Social Service.
NorthTec Chair, Vern Dark, congratulated the graduands on behalf of the organisation, and wished them all well with their future journeys.
Dr Lyndon urged the graduates to “reach up”, saying: “While it is a day of celebration and pride, for many of you it's also a day of facing the unknown. I faced that when I graduated six years ago – not knowing exactly what'll come next after graduating, and not knowing truly what I’ll do with my life.
“But since that time the thing I found most important is to try to find new experiences and to reach up and take opportunities - because it is experiences and the opportunities that will help you to decide what comes next and what you really want to do in future.
He closed with the words: “You are creating a legacy, a whakapapa of achievement for the next generation - nga mokopuna. I know you have the talent, the passion, the skills, and the qualifications, but you need to have the courage to continue to reach up.”
Valedictorian Daniel Tattersall talked about his own journey through education, and the things he had learned along the way. Congratulating his fellow graduates, he said: “Graduating is not just the completion of a possibility, but is the beginning of new possibilities. Whether we go off to be stay-at-home parents, or go on to complete a Master’s degree, we all have the opportunity to continue to grow and change, and not only ourselves, but the lives of people around us.”
A total of 380 NorthTec students were eligible to graduate with degrees and diplomas at the end of 2015.
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