Two generations of family will take the stage at CQUniversity Noosa graduation, but it’s the next generation of students who are set to benefit.
Although at different ends of their careers, Dr Kathy Murray and her 22-year-old son Robert Bauer both bring an inspiring approach to education.
Sunshine Coast local Dr Murray is set to graduate with her Doctorate of Education, after completing research on the decision making process parents use to choose a child care centre for their child.
Meanwhile, Robert is coming from much further for the Thursday 28 September 2017 event – since he finished his Bachelor of Learning Management degree in 2016, he’s been working as a graduate teacher on Saibai Island in the Torres Strait.
Dr Murray said graduating as a team had been a long-term goal for them – and a great incentive on her final stretch of doctorate completion.
“It really went down to the wire – finishing a Doctorate in Education (EdD) isn’t a smooth ride, but I was determined I’d get there and graduate with Rob!” she said.
Dr Murray started her career as a Preschool teacher at Pialba State School in Hervey Bay in 1984.
“Pialba Preschool was my first placement and back then it was quite a sleepy little remote town – but nothing compared to what Rob’s experiencing in the Torres Straits!” she said.
In July 2017, Dr Murray spoke at the Tagai State College annual conference on Thursday Island and then visited Rob on Saibai Island, where he teaches 18 pre-prep and prep children at the local primary school.
“I wanted to teach in a culturally-different context because I have an interest in diverse ways of life, and different ways to connect to children in the classroom,” Rob said.
“It’s definitely a challenge but one that will offer opportunities that I would not otherwise have been exposed to – and the enthusiasm of the kids is great and camaraderie of the teachers is pretty special.”
Dr Murray has been an Early Childhood Education lecturer at CQUniversity since 2007, and completed her Master of Learning Management in 2004, she began her Doctorate in Education in 2010.
At the same time, she worked on a number of research projects, lectured in a range of university subjects related to early childhood and primary education and now runs a consultancy business, Training and Education Services that supports educators and teachers in child care centres and schools.
But despite Dr Murray’s long-running alliance with CQUni, she said Robert took all unis into consideration before choosing where to study.
“I encouraged him to look at everything on offer. He did his research and decided CQUni was the best one for him!” she said.
Rob said the opportunity to do classroom placements from first year was appealing and that everyone he spoke to said that CQUni produced work place ready graduates.
It was at CQUni that he first heard about the opportunity to teach in the Torres Strait, at Tagai State College which has campuses across the islands.
The 22-year-old will be coming home for the CQUniversity Noosa graduation, to be held at the Maroochy RSL, with 56 student set to graduate courses including Accounting, Business, Laws, Building Design, Paramedic Science and Engineering.