Student Achievements Shine In Bendigo Graduations

More than 570 students from La Trobe University’s largest regional campus have taken centre stage to celebrate their studies across three days of graduation ceremonies in Bendigo.

The Ulumbarra Theatre hosted the three-day event, between April 17 and 19, showcasing the commitment and achievement of graduating students in the presence of their family and friends.

Reflecting La Trobe’s strengths in health innovation, close to 70 per cent of the graduates walked away with qualifications across areas including biomedical science, dentistry, nursing, allied health and sport.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor, Professor Theo Farrell, said the Bendigo campus confirms the University’s position as a global leader of tertiary education and its commitment to the regional workforce.

“Our regional campuses empower students, facilitate access to higher education and ultimately, make a lasting impact on their lives and communities,” Professor Farrell said.

“With an estimated shortage of 100,000 nurses by 2025*, especially in rural and regional communities, La Trobe is making a significant investment in health innovation across its teaching and research that will help address this critical skills shortage.”

Students graduating from the School of Education were among the second largest cohort, with several already making a positive impact in regional classrooms following successful placements.

Marg O’Rourke, Bendigo Head of Campus, said graduations were a time for students to reflect how far they have come.

“Our graduates are confident, capable and have the hands-on skills employers need,” Marg said.

“Many are heading off into the world, while others are continuing their studies, but the past week has been an important time to acknowledge their immense contribution to the University and community.”

Among the 577 graduates were 25 international students, from all corners of the globe, who called the Bendigo campus home.

Heralding from a small town in southern India, Dr Santosh Rama Bhadra Rao Tata graduated with a PhD in Biomedicine. Dr Tata’s thesis provides scope to develop new treatment methods for gastrointestinal and psychiatric disorders.

Upon finishing his PhD in 2023, Dr Tata has continued to enjoy and contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of Bendigo, where he will remain and advance his professional journey.

“I am working on a few projects on cancer immunology alongside Professor Helen Irving and teaching as a casual academic at La Trobe in microbiology, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology,” Dr Tata said.

“Bendigo is my favourite place in Australia. It has everything and the people are so friendly, I love everything about it.”

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