Education has transformed Mark Tirris’s life.
When he graduates from Southern Cross University on Saturday with a Bachelor of Indigenous Studies (Trauma and Healing) degree, Mark, 21, from Lismore, will be looking at a future he could not have envisioned.
Already enrolled in his Master of Indigenous Studies degree, and with a path mapped out to do a Doctor of Philosophy next, his future career paths now seem unlimited.
“Going to Southern Cross University has turned my life around and opened up a whole new world of experience for me,” said Mark.
“I have had so many amazing opportunities by studying here and met so many motivating, educated, inspiring and supportive people that I look at the world through different eyes now.
“You just don’t meet people like that anywhere other than at University and their influence changes your perceptions and the choices you make about your life.
“During my studies I was lucky enough to win a scholarship to go to Japan on an exchange to Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata, near Osaka.
“I also undertook a two-week study tour of Sydney, Canberra, Darwin and Uluru, learning about environmental sustainability with the Australia India Universities Youth Forum.
“We looked at issues like organic farming, water management, green power, public transport, pollution, waste management and Indigenous land management practices.
“I learnt so much and made some great connections.
“I have really enjoyed the exposure to things like different cultures, religions and knowledge systems which have broadened my horizons.
“Studying here with the support of Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples has been so self-empowering.
“I have learnt that if I put my mind to something I can do it.
“I can be a part of community change by being involved with the community; I can make a real contribution to make the world a better place for all.”
A total of 609 students, representing all schools and colleges at Southern Cross University, will graduate on Saturday, with 252 attending the ceremonies.
There are 18 PhD and 2 DBA graduands to be conferred and a Chancellor’s Medal will be presented to Dr Meg O’Reilly for her outstanding thesis.
The graduation ceremony details for Saturday, September 20 at the Whitebrook Theatre, Lismore campus, Military Road, East Lismore are:
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples
School of Arts and Social Sciences
School of Education
School of Environmental Science and Management
School of Health and Human Sciences
Faculty of Business and Law
Graduate College of Management
School of Commerce and Management
School of Law and Justice
School of Tourism and Hospitality Management
PICTURE: Mark Tirris who will graduate with a Bachelor of Indigenous Studies (Trauma and Healing) on Saturday.