An Indigenous social worker had the honour of carrying the ceremonial mace at last weekend’s Edith Cowan University (ECU) South West Campus graduation ceremony.
Natasha Kickett was among the procession of almost 200 graduands this weekend, in a parade through Bunbury’s city centre before the ceremony.
ECU South West Dean Lyn Farrell congratulated Ms Kickett on the honour and praised the dedication of all graduating students.
“Ms Kickett will make an outstanding mace bearer as she epitomises ECU’s values of integrity, respect, personal excellence and rational inquiry,” Ms Farrell said.
“This parade, now an annual tradition, is an opportunity for ECU, and the local community, to celebrate our students’ success and acknowledge their remarkable achievements.”
Ms Kickett, a Karriyarra woman from the Pilbara region, will graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work, finally completing a long held dream.
“I had always wanted to be a social worker, and studying my Social Work degree was something that I had thought about doing since leaving high school,” Ms Kickett said.
“Over the years, as it does with everyone, my life’s circumstances have changed many times. I have been a single parent, suffered the loss of loves ones which cut me to the core, had three amazing children, married an amazing man and beat the unforgivable disease that is cancer.”
Not only overcoming the challenges in her personal life, Ms Kickett also juggled study with her work at the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support as an Aboriginal Practice Leader.
Reflecting on her achievement, Ms Kickett is proud of the example she sets for the next generation.
“Completing my Bachelor’s degree not only serves a practical purpose with my career opportunities, but the personal satisfaction that I have, the pride in never giving up, showing my children strength and courage to pursue goals and achieve them, is what is the most important to me,” she said.
Joining graduates at the event was Winter Olympics gold medallist Alisa Camplin-Warner OAM who received an honorary doctorate for her inspirational service to sport and her outstanding charity work.