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Mother and son duo graduate against the backdrop of fireworks

Monday, 12 February 2018

Source: Murdoch University

As fireworks light up the sky for Murdoch University’s graduation ceremony tonight, a mother and son are set to share the stage to celebrate their achievements.

Andrea and Nicholas Byrne will both receive qualifications from the School of Arts, with Andrea completing her Honours in Communications and Media, and her son graduating in Sound and Radio.

Andrea, who will be furthering her studies at Murdoch with a PhD, said the ceremony would be a special moment for the whole family.

“I am really proud of Nic, and it is exciting that we are graduating together,” she said.

Nicholas has already started working on some high profile music gigs with WA’s leading live sound production agency AAA Audio Production Services.

“In my first week on the job I worked at The Waifs and Kasey Chambers, and John Farnham concerts. It was an intense, thrilling and amazing learning experience,” he said.

Nicholas added that it was ‘really cool’ to study at university with his mother, especially at break times.

“Mum was always happy to buy me a coffee,” he said. “Sometimes I would bump into her at uni and try to introduce her to people she had already met, or would assume people were talking to me when they were actually talking to her.”

Both Andrea and Nicholas have recognised a change in themselves and each other since they first began their journey at Murdoch.

“The stereotypes about uni students and millennials aren’t true,” said Andrea.

“The young people I studied with were hardworking, dedicated and juggled a lot of responsibilities. They were worried about a lot more than “smashed avo.”

“Our perception of the world has changed,” added Nicholas.

“Thinking critically, considering information on news or social media from different angles/multiple sources. We are less biased and more aware of prejudices and the challenges people face now.

“Some things haven’t changed though… Like Mum telling me to clean my room.”

The 2,000 students graduating are a welcome addition to Murdoch’s growing family of over 73,000 alumni around the globe.

Twenty-one PhD researchers will also graduate, reflecting Murdoch’s reputation as a research-intensive institution.

Media contact:

Sarah Thillagaratnam, Media & Communications sarah.t@murdoch.edu.au (08) 9360 2858