Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 26, 2011

Thursday, 24th March 2011 – about Graduates, and La Trobe

Today, I attended the 3rd University Graduation of one of my children – this time, youngest daughter, Jodie, who had completed her studies at Melbourne’s ‘La Trobe University’ [Bundoora Campus],  in the Degree of  Bachelor of Business [Sport and Leisure Management] –  currently working at two part time jobs, one of them at a western suburbs Leisure & sporting complex, Jodie is seeking a  fulltime employment role in her field of expertise..

The Ceremony commenced at 10am, and for me was proceeded by another hazzle of a drive and parking search, something I thought I would avoid this time. These trips certainly don’t do much for my blood pressure, and the mistake I made this morning was to choose the wrong route  – traffic considerably delayed by a fatal accident involving a pedestrian [I guess in terms of that, I have nothing to complain about!!] For peace of mind, Jodie went ahead of us, so she didn’t get caught in those traffic problems, although she ‘spoilt’ my mood a little by warning that parking was going to be a problem!! The one aspect I’d counted on not being a problem!!!  Such is life. Despite that,  and a bit of  confusion at the university end,  parking eventually was not the problem thanks to the efficiency of the people running that side of things.  Incidentally, my passengers were Shirley [Jodie’s Mum] and her mother [Win, who turned 90 last week], the only three people that Jodie had been able to obtain tickets for.

La Trobe University is one of the newer universities in Melbourne, and first opened it’s doors in 1967 with 552 students, having been established as Victoria’s third university in 1964 [between Melbourne, and Monash]. It now has campuses throughout the state at Bendigo, Albury- Wodonga, Mildura. Shepparton and Beechworth   –  it is the Bendigo Campus that elder daughter is currently studying this year [she undertook her first combined Degree at Swinburne University].  Total current enrolments in 2011 are 30,071 students including 6,500 international students [some of whom study off-shore] from over 100 different countries. The number of overseas enrolments was fairly obvious when one took note of the list of graduates, particularly in the areas of tourism and hospitality.

The main faculties of study at La Trobe are Education [Susan’s current area], Humanities & Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Law & Management Science, and Technology& Engineering. I always find it interesting to look at the vision and values of organisations, small or large, these are the statements that essentially spell out what the organisation is all about, in broad terms, and what it hopes to achieve. In La Trobe University’s case, we find that Vision is to ‘promote critical enquiry, advance and share knowledge, and support the practical application of knowledge for the benefit of all. Following on from the Vision, it’s Key Foundation values are those ‘of responsibility, relevance, critical enquiry, integrity, participation and excellence’, considered to be as valid today as they were 40 years ago.

La Trobe University is named after Charles Joseph La Trobe, who was the first Super-intendent of the Port Phillip District [of the then colony of New South Wales] from 1839 to 1850, and then the first Lieutenant-Governor of the new colony of Victoria  [after separation from New South Wales] from 1851 to 1854.  He arrived in the colony in 1839, which was just  four years after the first white settlement when the population was less than 6,000. My home town of Sunbury was established in 1836, hence  the 175 Years celebrations this year. When La Trobe departed in 1854, Victoria  had become the richest of the Australian colonies [in part, thanks to the various operating  goldfields], and the population was close to 300,000.  Self-government had been won, and as indicated, the goldfields were booming,  the public library and art gallery were established, as was the first university  – Melbourne University where I studied for my first degree.

In fact, La Trobe did much for the early years of Victoria. Quoting from the Graduation booklet that came with today’s ceremony, we read:  “At Port Phillip [where Melbourne is now centralised], La Trobe encouraged the development of Aboriginal welfare and education and authorised establishment of the native police corps in 1842. Travelling on horseback, he visited many sheep stations, and saw the emergence of settled communities. In Melbourne, he had interests in the churches of St. James and St. Peters, the inauguration of the Melbourne Hospital, the National Museum and the Mechanics’ Institute. During the 1840s, the first Government offices were opened on Batman’s Hill, the Botanic Gardens site was reserved, the Melbourne Town Council was established and the first Elizabeth Street Post Office opened. La Trobe served as Administrator of Van Dieman’s Land [Tasmania] during 1846-47.  La Trobe gave assent to the Victorian act to establish the University of Melbourne in 1853, and in 1854 the Constitution Act was passed. Between 1851 and 1854, Government departments such as the PHG [Post Master General], the Goldfields Commission and the Police Force were created by La Trobe.  New towns appeared and the building of railways and telegraph lines began. The Supreme Court was established in 1852”.  And remembering, that 20 years previously, there was virtually no official settlement in the ‘eventual’ State of Victoria.

So you see that today’s little visit to La Trobe University was a bit of a reminder about facits of my state’s history – particularly of interest in Melbourne in the early 1850s, where my ancestor first arrived from Scotland,  settled himself into a new life of possibilities, married, and began the ‘dynasty’ that is ‘us’ now!!  Meanwhile, for Jodie, her little stint of fame came very early in the proceedings, being  the 13th graduate up on the stage to receive her degree – not that that had any specific significance, simply the fact that her discipline of  the Business degrees was first to be called up – bit of an anti-climax for those of us of her family, as we then sat and watched for over an hour while all of today’s other recipients were called to the stage. A bit like Parliament with all the pomp, ceremony and rigid rules of procedures and formalities. I personally thought the ‘Occasional Address’ [which was given after the conferring of degrees because the speaker’s plane was late] was quite interesting, with a focus on the numbers of people who come through and influence our lives to different degrees and in different ways from immediate family groups, work colleagues and a whole host of others that we come into contact with throughout our lives – I think he suggested that about 1500 people is the average total of those, whom during the course of our lives, we develop some element of a personal connection of relationship with. I think the message was to learn from all those ‘relationships’ and ‘use’ them in the course of our lives, both in a personal and career sense.

Following all the procedures, we wisely decided to forego the ‘morning tea’ and it’s crowded conditions – instead, immediately commenced arrangements for the formal photographs [yet more money to hand over!!] – that was a move which saved us quite a deal of time [compared with the equivalent long wait at Susie’s graduation], a wait of just 15 minutes this occasion, with quite a good bit of attention from the photographer [a woman] to get those photos all just perfect. Pity there were so few of us, and Jodie had none of her siblings with her, but the resulting photos should be worth the effort [and likely cost!].

Shirley, Win and myself headed off, towards home, Jodie intended to follow later after she had arranged some photos with friends, and we would all meet up at a pasta restaurant in Sunbury for a celebratory lunch. In actual fact, Jodie reached Sunbury before us – and not just because she drove faster, but a stop on my part was necessary in order to allow the ladies to buy a coffee!!  Lunch which followed, was quite pleasant, although the risotto which I ordered, despite being a beautiful dish, was obviously not the kind of meal I should have been eating in the middle of the day –  I would ‘suffer’ into the night, and through to Friday, in one or two directions!!! I  realised afterwards I should have ordered something a little more ‘diabetes’ friendly, but on special occasions, one tends to throw caution to the wind!!!  Such is life, again!

Blues 2011 UpdateYes, the Australian Football League [AFL] 2011 season began tonight, with what is becoming over recent years, the traditional opening season match –  my team, the Carlton Blues versus the Richmond Tigers. For the game, the Blues  named three new players in the 22 selected for the  round one match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground [MCG]. While one of the three, Jeremy Laidler, has played two AFL games, the other two, Nick Duigan and Ed Curnow, will be making their AFL debut in the season opener. Young Jodie, after her big university occasion, planned to go to the match with boyfriend, Ash, and did invite me to join them –  but I’m ashamed to admit, as a lifetime Blues supporter, that I turned the offer down – deciding that in view of the deteriorating weather that the MCG would be a very crowded, cold and breezy place tonight  –  at my age, I would find it much more comfortable watching from in front of my television set! A few years ago, I would not have hesitated at such a suggestion. Told Jodie I would happily join them later in the season

Anyway, just the one game tonight, to open the 2011 season.  By halftime, it looked as though the Blues were going to repeat the performance of the last two years in this equivalent game, and romp away with the match. But as can be seen by the quarter by quarter scores below, Richmond completely dominated the Blues in the 3rd quarter kicking 6 goals to Nil. By that stage, I must admit I was feeling as though a loss was a real possibility, as Richmond seemed to get more on top as they took control of most aspects of the game, However, to my relief, Carlton fought back in that final quarter, to in the end, have a convincing win. It would not be long after the games’ conclusion, that I received a text message from Jodie, simply stating ‘You should have come’!!  True enough!  In front of a lower than expected crowd of  60,654, the Blues ran out winners by 24 points, not a great margin, but least a strong comeback. A nice start to the Blue’s year.

Carlton Blues:                     2.8.20      9.10.64       9.13.47      FINAL: 14.20.104


Richmond Tigers:               3.0.18      7.0.24        13.3.39       Final:      13.6.84

The other big ‘sporting’ occasion overnight, was the World Cup Quarter Final game between Australia and India. I actually felt the odds were on Australia losing this game, but watched the first part of the telecast [after the football] where the Australians were batting – pleasing to see captain Ricky Ponting score a 100 runs in that innings. Australia’s score of  6 wickets for 260 runs, was a reasonable total, yet I felt that against India, it would not be enough. At that point, I switched off the TV, and went to sleep.  Woke four hours later – to discover that India needed about 11 runs to win, with over 20 balls in which to get them, and plenty of wickets still available.  Well, I kept watching, not expecting any miracle turn arounds, and as the following report explains,  they didn’t happen!

‘Ricky Ponting’s spot in the Australian cricket team is safe for now but he was devastated on Thursday when they lost their World Cup quarter-final to India.  Ponting, 36, scored an inspirational 104 under immense pressure to guide the three-time defending champions to a total of 6-260.  The Indians were largely untroubled to reply with 5-261 with 14 deliveries to spare.  Yuvraj Singh, fresh from his 113 on Sunday in a Group B match against West Indies, hit an unbeaten 57 to win the man-of-the-match award and Suresh Raina was 34 not out.  Sachin Tendulkar (53) and Gautam Gambhir (50) also scored half-centuries for the home side. Ponting said Australia lost wickets at crucial times which limited their ability to push the scoring rate up and he also blamed his bowlers for poor execution.  But he added: “I think it’s premature to say it’s the end of an era for Australian cricket. “We were very competitive tonight. “We’re all pretty devastated to have finished where we did.”  Earlier, Ponting used all his experience to carve out his first hundred in international cricket for 13 months in a masterful display on a slow-paced pitch.  The veteran No.3 batsman was finally out in the 49th over, popping a catch off an attempted reverse sweep at 6-245.  Ponting hit seven fours and one six from 118 balls. It was his 30th one-day international hundred and fifth in World Cups.  Ponting has endured a lean summer, averaging only 16.14 in the Ashes and scoring 102 runs at 20.40 in the World Cup’s group stage. Meanwhile, David Hussey, recalled in place of all-rounder Steve Smith, hit a crucial unbeaten 38 from 26 deliveries after opener Brad Haddin made a hard-hitting 53.  The match was played  in front of 42,103 fans at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Patel Stadium.



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