Students cloaked in gowns and smiles crowded the Civic Green yesterday as Deakin University’s newest crop of graduates celebrated the end of studies.
More than 250 alumni in nursing, teaching, commerce, arts and sciences clutched their degrees in the breeze for photos.
For teaching graduate Anthony Knights it was the end of an intense time.
“I had three jobs on the go at one point. I was working at a news-agency just doing papers, I worked at Deakin University and I was working for McDonald’s,” he said.
“When things were hectic I started at 2.30am in the morning ... quite often I’d finish at 11.30pm. It was a big day.”
Not that three jobs were necessary to stay afloat — the 23-year-old was supported by his parents living at home throughout his study.
“A lot of it was choice. I enjoy keeping working and I enjoy keeping busy,” he said.
Although only handed his degree yesterday, Mr Knights had already used his results to get a job in the remote Northern Territory community of Kalkaringi.
“It’s 830 kilometres south-west of Katherine. I’ve been there since January,” he said.
“I love it. It definitely brings its challenges but its very rewarding. It’s all about closing the gap.”
Despite a high turnover of staff in the remote schools, Mr Knight hopes to remain long-term to make an impact.
“It’s quite difficult for the kids with a high turnover of staff so ultimately I want to stay there.”