COVID-19 restrictions have put an end to Charles Sturt University's traditional end-of-year graduation ceremonies this year, but that hasn't stopped stopped students finding their own ways to celebrate.
About 6000 students will graduate by the end of 2020 across all of the university's campuses.
And while they haven't been able to come together to celebrate, CSU has encouraged students to hold their own graduation ceremony at home with friends and family or organise events with their classmates.
Graduation celebration and hire packs, along with a range of options including social media competitions and on-campus photo shoots, have been made available to mark the special occasion.
CSU student Bek Lewis graduated with a Bachelor of Paramedicine from the Bathurst campus' Faculty of Science and said despite the normal graduation ceremonies not taking place, she was still happy to celebrate alongside her fellow graduates.
"We had a formal dinner at Keystone [on Keppel Street] with a mock ceremony run by the academics from our degree," she said.
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"The CSUSPA [Student Paramedic Association] committee actually organised if for us and it was a really lovely evening and fantastic that we were able to all get dressed up and celebrate together.
"The dinner was our way of celebrating together and while not everyone from our class was able to make it, those of us who were there had a great night, and in some ways I think it was actually better than an actual graduation ceremony."
CSU deputy vice-chancellor (students) Jenny Roberts congratulated the university's graduates and said she looks forward to celebrating with graduates at future graduation ceremonies.
"Although our graduates are not celebrating in the traditional fashion this December, we want all of our graduates to enjoy their graduation and know they should be extremely proud of what they have achieved," she said.
"We know graduation ceremonies are one of the key milestones in the student experience, and we're planning to give graduates the opportunity to celebrate at a ceremony in the future."
Acting vice-chancellor Professor John Germov said students should be proud of their achievements.
"Graduation is one of the greatest milestones in an individuals life and this couldn't be truer given the unique set of circumstances that we've all had to endure over the past 12 months," he said.
The final round of graduates will be conferred with their awards on Wednesday, December 23, however CSU is offering an additional conferral date next year on Friday, January 15 to ensure students graduate as quickly as possible following their course completion.
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