The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Sutherland campus celebrated two decades of remarkable academic and community achievements and partnerships on 9 November.
Over the 20 years since its establishment, UOW Sutherland has seen 1,235 students graduate. Of those, 817 are still living in the Sutherland Shire, showing how valuable the campus is to the community and its long-term growth and prosperity.
UOW Sutherland offers degrees in nursing, business administration, accountancy, finance, human resources, management and marketing, as well as pathway courses to university.
The anniversary celebration was a joyous occasion, filled with nostalgia as staff and former students reflected on the proud history of the campus and the impact it has made on their lives and on the community.
UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M Davidson congratulated staff and graduates for making UOW Sutherland a success.
“We are delighted to welcome so many graduates, community members, local businesses and staff to this milestone event, providing an opportunity to look back, celebrate, and chart the course for future accomplishments,” Professor Davidson said.
“This is a significant milestone for UOW Sutherland. It stands as a testament to the dedication and excellence of our faculty, staff, and the vibrant local community that has consistently supported us.
“UOW is committed to offering Sutherland Shire residents the opportunity to gain world-class qualifications close to home and in an intimate, student-centred setting. We look forward to producing many more high-quality graduates in the future, and to continuing our support for the Sutherland Shire.
“This celebration allows us to acknowledge the incredible journey we’ve had and the achievements of our outstanding graduates.”
Initiatives such as the UOW Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship and Sutherland Shire Principal’s Recommendation Scholarship are a demonstration of the University’s commitment to making its world-class education accessible.
UOW Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President (Operations) Adam Malouf pointed to UOW Sutherland’s nursing program as an example of the contribution graduates were making to the community, with over half (51.6 per cent) of all UOW Sutherland graduates being nursing graduates, with 69.5 per cent still living or working in the area.
“Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our nurses, who play a critical role in the local healthcare landscape, contributing significantly to the well-being of residents of the Sutherland Shire,” he said.
“Through their firm commitment, they contribute to improving health outcomes and ensuring the community’s overall wellness. They are backbone of the local healthcare system and we remain committed to producing excellent nursing graduates every year, underpinned by solid, relevant and practical training and professional development.”
UOW Sutherland graduate and nurse Laureine Gabriel spoke at the event, crediting the staff at UOW Sutherland in helping her achieve her goals.
“Everyone from reception to lab staff were so friendly and welcoming. I felt like I truly belonged,” she said.
“Students knew that they could always knock on staff members’ doors and have a chat. The teachers were supportive and caring.”
Laureine said the location of the UOW Sutherland campus was very popular among her fellow students, many of whom were also living locally and couldn’t afford to travel to Wollongong or Sydney to study.