A graduand is a person who has completed the academic requirements of a degree and is waiting to graduate.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are an integral and growing part of the student community. Indigenous student enrolment has more than doubled from 9490 students in 2008 to 21,033 students in 2019 (Universities Australia 2012 (PDF, 1MB).
In 2019, nearly 3000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in Australian universities completed a sub-Bachelor, Bachelor degree or postgraduate qualification by course work or research (Universities Australia 2021).
Upon graduation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students wear a stole which identifies and celebrates Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage. An Aboriginal student will have a stole emblazoned in the colours of the Aboriginal flag, whereas a Torres Strait Islander graduand will have a stole in the colours of the Torres Strait Islander flag. A graduand whose heritage is both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander will wear a stole that has the colours of both flags.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sashing Ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate students’ academic and developmental achievements, while recognising land, culture and deep-rooted heritage.
Watch the UQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sashing Ceremony – 2020 (YouTube, 1m06s) below. Notice the colours red, yellow, black, and blue, green and white. These colours represent not only the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduands, but also their homes, heritage and history. Graduands wear the striped stoles during the Sashing Ceremony as an expression of pride, celebration and achievement.
Hear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduands’ advice for students currently studying or thinking about studying at university in the 2020 UQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sashing Ceremony – Student Messages video (YouTube, 3m19s).