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GreekReporter.comAustralia81-year-old amongst this year’s UQ graduates (studied Greek and Cypriot immigrants in...

81-year-old amongst this year’s UQ graduates (studied Greek and Cypriot immigrants in Australia)

At the age of 81, UQ student Dr Ferdinand Brockhall will prove it’s never too late to learn new tricks as he crosses the graduation stage at the St Lucia campus (University of Queensland) this morning.
Dr Brockhall will graduate five days into UQ’s second century with a PhD which studied post-war immigrants in Australia, namely Greek and Cypriot migrants.
“Most of the existing research stops once these people were assimilated – as though they had no story after this point,” Dr Brockhall said.
“If you talk to them today, you find that they are proud to be Australian, and despite globalisation and increased mobility, they choose to stay here, in what they consider to be their homeland.”
Dr Brockhall’s supervisor, Associate Professor David Ip, believes the research can also assist with better understanding today’s multi-cultural Australia.
“Knowing these people’s life course and experiences after they successfully assimilated enables the general public and policy makers to better understand Australia’s continual transformation,” Professor Ip said.
Professor Ip was also quick to congratulate Dr Brockhall on his achievement, despite facing many challenges.
“Credit must be given to Dr Brockhall for his incredible efforts and perseverance in overcoming obstacles,” he said.
“Having been away from studying for more than two decades, the technology advancements alone were completely foreign, not to mention research processes, and the theories and concepts in his field.”
Dr Brockhall admits he came close to throwing in the towel, but it was the support of his wife, to whom his thesis is dedicated, that kept him going.
“It was frustrating and challenging, and twice I came close to giving up. But I didn’t know how to tell Wilhelmina, so I kept going.”
Born in Indonesia to Dutch parents, Dr Brockhall and his wife migrated to Australia in the early-1950s.
After adventures in New South Wales, Victoria and Papua New Guinea, they retired to Brisbane in 2004, and it wasn’t long after he was looking for something to keep his already active mind in peak condition.
“At my age you don’t go back to Uni to increase your job prospects. I just really wanted to keep learning, and Wilhelmina supported me all the way.”
Dr Brockhall’s graduation ceremony is one of three ceremonies to be held on Monday at UQ’s St Lucia campus for students graduating from the Arts and Social and Behavioural Sciences’ faculties.
The 11am ceremony will feature students from the Schools of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics, Political Science & International Studies, and Social Science.
The 2pm ceremony will feature students from the Schools of English, Media Studies & Art History, Journalism & Communication, Languages & Comparative Cultural Studies, and Music.
The 6pm ceremony will feature students from the Schools of Psychology, and Social Work & Human Services.

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