Notre Dame celebrates outstanding graduate success

Education graduate, Kerry-Lee Jacobsen, delivers the Farewell Address to her graduating cohort.

During his Homily, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, called on Notre Dame’s graduates to channel the University’s patroness, Mary – the Mother of Jesus, in their personal and professional lives.

15 December 2017

The University of Notre Dame Australia celebrated the years of hard work and personal achievement of more than 1200 Notre Dame graduates – including a record number (22) of higher degree by research recipients -- at the University’s Graduation Mass and Ceremonies in Perth and Fremantle (12 – 14 December 2017).

The highest achieving graduates delivered the Farewell Addresses at each of the four ceremonies – Stephanie Christie (Bachelor of Nursing), Malcolm Farr (Bachelor of Theology), Kerry-Lee Jacobsen (Bachelor of Education (Primary) / Bachelor of Behavioural Science) and Joanne Bunney (Bachelor of Biomedical Science).

Notre Dame also conferred a Doctor of Laws on former Chancellor, Terence O’Connor QC, for his tireless and faithful commitment to the legal profession, most notably as Chairman of the Western Australian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Celebrations commenced with the annual Graduation Mass on Tuesday 12 December 2017, at St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth. More than 700 guests attended the special ceremony where graduates were presented with their graduation crosses – a traditional icon of the University and a commemorative symbol of a student’s time at Notre Dame.

During his Homily, Archbishop of Perth, the Most Reverend Timothy Costelloe SDB, called on Notre Dame’s graduates to channel the University’s patroness, Mary – the Mother of Jesus, in their personal and professional lives.

“Like Mary, you too now stand before the unfolding of your lives. Like her, you too may discover in yourself a call to greatness, a call to extraordinary generosity and a call to launch out into an unknown and uncontrollable future,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“Life in fact invites us all to greatness. Life holds out great promise for all of us. Life will always stretch us, calling us to be more than we ever thought we could be. How will you respond?”

Notre Dame held a total of nine Graduation Ceremonies last year – four in December and two in July on the Fremantle Campus; one in August on the Broome Campus; and two ceremonies at the Sydney Town Hall in March – and farewelled more than 2500 students nationally.

“On behalf of the Governors, staff and all present at today’s ceremony, I congratulate you on your graduation from Notre Dame. It’s a great day for all of you and for all of your loved ones. Years of study have preceded this day – and I imagine, not all of them easy. You deserve to be proud – you should celebrate,” Professor Celia Hammond, Notre Dame’s Vice Chancellor, said in her address to graduates.

“Please be confident in your skills, gifts and talents. Please be confident in your professional and personal lives. Be courageous, speak up, stand up and do. You are smart and you have received excellent training and a thorough education.”

Please visit for photo galleries, videos and links to presentations delivered at Notre Dame’s Graduation Ceremonies nationally.

Higher degree by research recipients

  • Christopher McCann – Master of Arts
  • Jacques Duvenhage – Master of Laws
  • Chinelle Van der Westhuizen – Master of Laws
  • Nitasha Narayan – Master of Nursing
  • Frederico Pereira – Master of Science (Medicine)
  • Cheryl Botello – Master of Philosophy (Arts & Sciences)
  • Cindy Cranswick – Master of Philosophy (Arts & Sciences)
  • Yan Ng – Master of Philosophy (Nursing)
  • Kevin Smith – Master of Philosophy (Philosophy & Theology)
  • Dr Kirsty Marles – Doctor of Business Administration
  • Dr Duncan Picknoll – Doctor of Education
  • Dr Pamela O’Nions – Doctor of Nursing
  • Dr Mars Tan – Doctor of Philosophy (Arts & Sciences)
  • Dr Kelvin Matthews – Doctor of Philosophy (Arts & Sciences)
  • Dr Diego Milani – Doctor of Philosophy (Health Sciences)
  • Dr Serena Davie – Doctor of Philosophy (Education)
  • Dr Christine Robinson – Doctor of Philosophy (Education)
  • Dr John Topliss – Doctor of Philosophy (Education)
  • Dr Anna Bunn – Doctor of Philosophy (Law)
  • Dr Paige Tucker – Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine)
  • Dr Laurel Collin – Doctor of Philosophy (Nursing)
  • Dr Pippa Kenworthy – Doctor of Philosophy (Physiotherapy)

Media Contact – Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;