Mother and son duo graduate against the backdrop of fireworks

February 12, 2018

Mother and son duo: Nicholas and Andrea Byrne graduate from the School of Arts together.

As fireworks lit up the sky for Murdoch University’s graduation ceremony, a mother and son shared the stage to celebrate their achievements.

Andrea and Nicholas Byrne both received 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 was 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.”

Murdoch University is staging four graduation ceremonies on its Perth campus in February. Around 2,000 new graduates are a welcome addition to Murdoch’s growing family of more than 73,000 alumni around the globe.

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

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