Friday 17 April was supposed to be Genevieve Langron’s Graduation day from the Master of Public Health.  Like all S1, 2020 graduates, Genevieve graduated ‘in absentia’ due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  Instead of a formal celebration with her cohort and family, Genevieve was able to celebrate the milestone in a different but equally memorable way. 

Genevieve’s housemate, Mandy created a graduation ceremony and celebration for her in lieu of the official graduation ceremony. The following photos and graduation speech were shared with the course director, Professor Janaki Amin, and are reproduced below with Genevieve’s permission.

Reflecting on the night, it was a really special and memorable way to celebrate my masters, and I do hope that one day we get the chance to celebrate with our lecturers and classmates. But the biggest reward from the degree is now being five weeks into a wonderful job at the Ministry of Health which would not have been possible without my Master’s of Public Health.

Genevieve Langron

This personal graduation account is a wonderful example of the ingenuity and resilience our graduates have demonstrated during this extraordinary time. It is highly likely that similar celebrations and reflections have been repeated across the globe as students adjust to the Covid-19 restrictions. The fact that Genevieve wanted to share her graduation jubilation with her course director speaks volumes for the relationship she has built with Janaki. Thanks for sharing your amazing ‘in absentia’ graduation experience with the Macquarie community, Genevieve. We all wish you the very best in your new job at the Ministry of Health.

Below is the graduation speech, written by Genevieve for the special occasion of her graduation. In her speech, she acknowledges the amazing teachers in MPH, the significant support of family, friends, and classmates, and the mentor that suggested she undertake the post-graduate study. 

Graduation Speech by Genevieve Langron

Deputy Chancellor, members of the University, fellow graduates and guests,

It is a great honour to be the graduate speaker of such a special day, and I need to start by congratulating my fellow graduates. The determination, commitment, and hundreds or even thousands of hours spent can’t be understated. So, congratulations. We made it.

When I look back at my own university time, 3 things stand out.

  1. Firstly, the teaching staff who are experts in their field and genuinely passionate about their work. It has left me feeling more inspired than ever about the possibilities in health. I’m also deeply grateful for how much they cared about all of us. I remember winning a punnet of strawberries in an early tutorial, always getting a comment on my health tweets (even on the weekends), being supported to start a student society, and having a guest lecture by the Minister for Health. Thank you to everyone in the faculty for going above and beyond to give us such a positive experience.
  2. Secondly, the support from friends, family, and classmates stands out, and I would like to sincerely thank those who supported all of us and made time to celebrate today. For me, support included a family who celebrated the small wins and gave practical support, having a housemate who bribed me with mystery food to finish assignments and the WhatApp group for our year that would explode with questions and help just before assignments were due. However support looked like for you personally, I have no doubt that it was invaluable in making it to graduation, and I hope your supporters enjoy your success today too.
  3. Finally, I always remember that my degree was a suggestion from a mentor which I adamantly refused. As much as I was convinced I was never coming back to uni, the idea stuck with me. So, I wrote an application and came to a few classes just to see how it would go. That decision led to hours of lectures and assignments as I expected. But it also led to making friends from all over the world and achieving meaningful professional goals. For me, this was a valuable lesson in staying curious and the power of a few small steps, and I often think of patients I treated as a Physiotherapist who literally started by taking one or two small steps that eventually added up to something great.

I would once again like to congratulate all graduates here today. I hope you enjoy celebrating and wish you all the best for your future.
Thank you,
Genevieve Langron

Genevieve celebrating her graduation ‘in absentia’ as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.

Posted by Lyn Collins

Senior Instructional Designer in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

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