Skip to main content
Toggle navigation
News & Events

USQ and community unite at Spring Graduation

Man in graduation gown
USQ Toowoomba Spring Graduation morning ceremony Valedictorian Brendan Turner
Shoulder to shoulder, USQ graduands marched through the Toowoomba CBD as they passed a cheering crowd of proud family, friends and community members.

Among them was morning ceremony Valedictorian Brendan Turner who would soon address his fellow graduates as they officially completed their university degrees at the Empire Theatre.

The Bachelor of Education graduate reflected on his time at USQ, and offered some advice to his peers.

“I encourage everyone to take the time after our ceremony to meet someone new or to make a mental note of who is here today, because I have no doubt some of Australia’s greatest minds are in this room,” Mr Turner said.

“You may see some of our future principals and lead teachers, engineers that may construct some of the tallest buildings in the world, and doctors and specialists at the top of their field.

“It’s all thanks to the University of Southern Queensland ‘unleashing our fearless.’

“Your future belongs to you.”

USQ Chancellor John Dornbusch and Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie acknowledged and celebrated the success of nearly 600 students from a range of study areas at the two graduation ceremonies today (September 8).

“This year’s graduation ceremonies are a milestone in the history of USQ as we celebrate 50 years as a higher education provider and 25 years as university,” Mr Dornbusch said.

“Celebrating our success as a university and your success as graduates with others from the Toowoomba community in our march through the city was a true demonstration of town and gown joining together.”

The graduates also heard from guest speakers Australian public servant and Australian Army Reserve officer Kathryn Campbell CSC and Former Governor-General of Australia, The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO.

Dame Quentin Bryce was also conferred with the Honorary Award of Doctor of the University (honoris causa) in recognition for her distinguished service to community.

The Honorary Award of Professor Emeritus was conferred upon two former USQ professors in recognition of their distinguished academic service - Professor Peter Goodall and the late Professor Ronel Erwee.

Australian academic and author, Professor Goodall retired from USQ in December 2012 having served the University at the executive level for a number of years while continuing his scholarly achievements.

Professor Erwee passed away earlier this year. Since commencing with USQ in 1998, she made many significant contributions. In particular, as Professor of Management, Professor Erwee’s commitment to research and the support of postgraduate students will have an ongoing impact in her discipline area for years to come.

Learn more about USQ Graduations by visiting