First Blacktown students celebrate graduation

The first cohort of students from ACU’s newest campus in Blacktown are graduating this week in Sydney as part of ACU’s autumn graduation ceremonies.

The majority of these were nursing students, who were celebrated during a ceremony for Faculty of Health Sciences on Wednesday 16 May 2024. Students of Bachelor of High Performance Sport and the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science from Blacktown have also completed their degrees and join ACU’s alumni community, alongside graduates from the Strathfield and North Sydney Campuses.

In a welcome address at Wednesday morning’s ceremony, Blacktown Campus Dean Dr Valentine Mukuria congratulated all the graduates for achieving this milestone and said she “would like to give a shout out to Blacktown Campus first nursing graduating cohort”, noting the courage of opening a new campus during a period of upheaval.

“As some of you might be aware Australian Catholic University was the only Australian university to open up a new Campus in the midst of a global pandemic.

“ACU dared to hope, while much of the world despaired, and today, we celebrate the fruit of that hope, as we celebrate this milestone of Blacktown's first Nursing Graduates.

“On behalf of ACU Blacktown staff, congratulations and thank you for doing us proud.”

Lauren Burden gave a vote of thanks on behalf of her fellow students. The nursing graduate applauded the staff of the Faculty of Health Sciences who she said, had “not only been educators but mentors, role models, and advocates, that have challenged us to think beyond google, embrace our compassion, and strive for excellence in every aspect of our practice. Your belief and drive have shown and empowered us to reach beyond what we think we are capable of and for that tireless commitment, patience, and wisdom we are eternally grateful.”

She also acknowledged families and loved ones who “showed us the value in doing what is right, not what is easy, and these lessons have shaped who we are”, and university friends and peers: “We have grown together, shaped each other’s experiences, and built bonds that will last a lifetime. Together we celebrated our successes, navigated a few speed bumps, and learned more about ourselves and each other.”

The Sydney graduations are part of ACU’s autumn graduation ceremonies with events to honour graduating students from the Faculties of Health Sciences, Education and Arts, Law and Business, and Theology and Philosophy.

ACU’s autumn graduations began in Ballarat on 12 April and will conclude in Canberra on 31 May.


  • 3,760 graduates
  • 105 Blacktown graduates
  • 20 ceremonies
  • 7 campuses
  • 5 cities
  • 2 honorary doctorate recipients

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