In its own way a university graduation certificate is like a Golden Ticket to enter Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. It's very precious and will open doors accessible only to the chosen ones. But after that it comes down to what you do with it. Not all graduates will end up with the chocolate factory or with a tribe of Oompa Loompas working for them. But having the certificate increases your chances significantly. Today's world might be uncertain for new graduates but it has always been so. Emma Griffiths, the guest speaker at today's QUT graduation ceremony reminded students to never lose sight of why they studied journalism in the first place. And, she said, remain true to yourself. It's a fine lesson. I have another one. Wear good shoes. How you define good is up to you. It might be sensible, or pretty, or expensive. But in graduations where your main job is to walk across a stage or in journalism where shoe leather reporting has always been a sign of quality, the footwear counts. Choose wisely and never forget that there are many, many out there who would kill to be able to walk in your shoes.
Graduation ceremonies are always bitter sweet. Some might say that the speeches are long but so are the opportunities to check out the parade of footwear. This is true but more it's sending another group of students off into the big world of post university life. It's a big step. We wish you all well and order you to keep in touch, or else.
And today there's one graduate I'll be keeping a closer eye on than the rest. My lovely niece Scarlett graduated from Griffith University tonight. She's the first one in this generation to do so and we are all proud of her. Plus she wore sensible yet attractive shoes. She'll go far.