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More than 200 NorthTec graduates walked proudly across the Forum North stage at this year’s annual graduation held in Whangārei.
All had gained diplomas, graduate diplomas or degrees in a wide variety of programmes, and were joined by whānau, friends, NorthTec staff, members of the NorthTec Council and special guests to celebrate their big day.
There were two ceremonies, in the morning and afternoon, and between the two events the students took part in their traditional march through the city centre.
Council Chair, Jane Hindle, congratulated the graduates on their achievements and said how much she and her Council colleagues enjoy graduation day: “It’s the day which provides the whakatinana, the embodiment of everything that you have been striving for and that we here at NorthTec, hope for you to achieve.”
Urging the students to use the critical thinking skills they have acquired, she said: “Find out information for yourself, seek the truth and check the facts rather than jumping on the bandwagon as part of the pack. Be a leader, not a follower, and set your standards high.
“Your time at NorthTec has taught you not just skills but also the ability to learn, to acquire knowledge, to process information and decide for yourself how you choose to use it. Be a role model for others and encourage them to think about how they increase their knowledge.”
The ceremony also featured a speech from NorthTec’s first international student valedictorian, Walter Ching, from China. Walter shared his personal story of becoming the first person in his family to earn a degree, fulfilling his grandfather’s wishes and making his family proud.
He said: “To all the students here today, congratulations! You have successfully graduated today! To our family, friends, tutors, staff of NorthTec. Thank you very much for being here with us on one of the most important days in our lives. Today isn’t an end and we are not going to stop, after today, we will be heading on another journey. Please do remember, we should never stop learning, working and dreaming.”
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