2017's local graduates of the University of Canberra

When Natasha White left Crookwell to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, she didn’t quite know what to expect.

“If you asked me four or five years ago whether I would finish university and love my job, I probably would have said no,” Ms White said.

“But I loved studying education, I love teaching, I love everything about it.”

Ms White left her hometown and moved to the national capital in 2012 to study education at the University of Canberra.

She’s now living out her very dream after graduating last month with a Bachelor of Secondary Education (Health and Physical Education).

“I’ve always wanted to teach,” she said.

“There’s never really been another plan. My career adviser came to me in Year 12 and asked what I wanted to do and it was always teaching. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t on my radar as a potential job.”

Ms White is now working at Campbell High School in Canberra, where she completed the final practical element of her degree.

She said spending time inside a classroom while studying was the most important part of becoming a teacher.

“Prac is the most important part of the degree,” she said.

“I learned more during those four-week blocks than I did at any other point of my degree. You can’t do without it. You essentially learn how to be a teacher during those placements.”

Ms White said she was relishing in her new city, but Crookwell would always be home. “Canberra’s a little bit like home – a big country town where you’re always bumping into people you know,” she said.

“But it’s nice knowing my real home is close enough to visit anytime I like.”

The University of Canberra hosted its graduation ceremonies for more than 1400 students in the Great Hall at Parliament House in late September. Vice-chancellor and president Professor Deep Saini congratulated the students on their success.

“Our greatest source of pride is you, our students and graduates,” Professor Saini said.

“Whether you are graduating with your first degree or a postgraduate qualification, I offer you my sincerest congratulations and wish you a long and successful career in your chosen field.”

More than 16,800 students currently attend the University of Canberra with a strong emphasis on work-integrated learning giving students valuable experience in the workplace before they graduate.

The University has been named in the top two per cent of tertiary institutions worldwide, according to the 2018 Times Higher Education World Rankings. 

It is also placed in the top 100 universities worldwide under 50 years of age, in the Top 100 Asia-Pacific universities and 30th in the world for Gen-Y Universities.

Other Southern Tablelands graduates this year included: Jessica Croker of Goulburn, with a Master of Teaching from the University of Canberra, her third degree;  Rebecca Gower of Goulburn, with a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Psychology; and Samantha Barry of Goulburn, with a Bachelor of Education.