Some students here are the ‘first in family’ to attend university, and while this is a very significant higher education story, there are other important university ‘firsts in family’. Here are a few short tributes to those who have made very diverse ‘first in family’ journeys to, and through, Macquarie.

First in family to go to university.

First in family to graduate from university.

First to get a Masters degree.

To get a PhD.

To work as a teacher in the University.

To work as a university researcher.

To be an academic.

To be a Professor.


First in family to leave Country to attend university.

First to go to university in Australia.

First to leave the country town where you grew up, to go to uni in the city.

First in family to go to this university where the main language is not your first.

First to get a degree using what is your second or third language.

To read a (text) book in what is your second or third language.

To understand a university (text) book in what is your second or third language.

First in family to read a university text.

First in family to get more than one degree.

First in family to get a higher degree.

First in family to get a humanities degree.

First in family to get a professional degree.


First in family to work at a university. (Your parents are so proud of you and your dad still asks you what you ‘learned at school today’.)

First in family to even think about perhaps, maybe consider going to university after you finish the HSC. (You’ve thought about it endlessly but you’re still not sure it’s for you).

Not the first but the oldest in family to go to university. (Now that the kids have finished uni and moved out of home, it’s time for you.)

First in family to get an undergraduate science degree (and then write a best selling book on green juices and smoothies).

First in family to drop out of university. It’s not what you thought it would be. You might be back tho’.

First in family to have to work full-time while studying at university. You can’t afford things otherwise.

First in family to have parents who can support you financially and in full while you’re studying. It makes some things much easier, other things not so much.

First in family to get your degree at the end of a career, rather than at the start.

First in family to start a PhD at 70.

Not just first in family, but perhaps first in the University to get your first degree in your 90s.

First in family to go to university when you’re 18 and never leave. (You’re 45 now and your family still asks you when you’ll be finished studying).

Check out the First in Family website for more stories and inspiration.

Do you have a ‘first in family’ story about university to share? Leave a comment below

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Posted by Karina Luzia

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