Uni medallists, Peta Callaghan and Scott Hanson-Easy.
Uni medallists, Peta Callaghan and Scott Hanson-Easy. Bruce Thomas

Graduates told family is the key to success

AS Warren Mundine tells it, the seeds of his life's work were sown around the family dinner table debating issues of the day.

On Saturday, the high-profile indigenous advocate was guest speaker at Southern Cross University's graduation ceremony and told the 183 graduates and their family and friends how being Aboriginal then meant having to be better to be equal.

"Growing up when being Aboriginal was 'bad' and 'useless', my parents instilled in all their (12) children that we had to work even harder," Mr Mundine said.

"You will all have your own hills to climb...enjoy your new life and your new journey."

Among those embarking on the next stage of their lives were university medallists Peta Callaghan and Scott Hanson-Easy.

The young couple have not only graduated together from their bachelor of psychology degrees, both with first-class honours, but also recently gave birth to their first child.

For the Roulstone family the day was a trifecta of celebrations with mother Ellen graduating alongside her son Sam and his wife Shannon.

Ellen Roulstone said she started her nursing degree when the course became available locally.

"Then Sam decided to come along and then Shannon," Ellen said.

"We all started on the same day and for the first year were all living in the same street."

Ellen is now working as a registered nurse at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

Shannon was also there until recently when she gave birth to identical twin girls.

Husband Sam is now working with the Department of Community Services.

Graduates received medals in a wide range of disciplines including business, tourism, health and education.

The chancellor, the Honourable John Dowd AO, presented the awards.


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