DWU vice president research and higher degrees Professor, Fr Philip Gibbs, told the graduates that when teachers and nurses are committed to their professions, the communities are served well.
He told graduates that they are entering two important professions as “transformed” individuals who can make a difference in the communities they serve.
Prof Gibbs was speaking at the 2nd combined graduation ceremony of Our Lady of the Sacred
Heart (OLSH) Kabaleo Teachers College and St Mary’s School of Nursing-Vunapope, on 30 November, 2017.
The two Catholic institutions have amalgamated with their big sister institution, Divine Word University, in 2015 and are now part of the Rabaul Campus of the university.
Prof Gibbs, who is also the university’s director of Mission and Identity, said DWU emphasises on “student transformation” to becoming someone who is professional, ethical and responsible.
“The first objective at Divine Word University is student transformation – a transformation that is an educational, personal, professional, social and spiritual experience.
“Today we acknowledge the transformation that has come about in you through the experience of being here at Kabaleo (Teachers College) and St Mary’s (School of Nursing Vunapope) for the last three years.
“I imagine that you are not the same person as the one who fronted up to the registrar in
February 2015,” Prof Gibbs said to the graduates at the ceremony held at the Kabaleo campus.
He said: “At DWU, as I mentioned during the Missioning Ceremony (on 29 November), we talk about maturity and transformation being shown in core values: Integrity, Academic Excellence, Community Engagement, Respect, Diversity, Hospitality, Learning for Life and Social Responsibility.”
He said DWU expects the graduates from its Rabaul Campus to demonstrate those values when they enter the workforce.
Outgoing Student Representative Council president, Abraham Kobwata, in his valedictory, called on his fellow graduates to hold fast to the values they learnt in DWU Rabaul Campus and become better teachers and nurses.
Kobwata said the new teachers and nurses must put Jesus Christ at the centre of their work as they serve the people in the communities across the country.
The Rabaul Campus witnessed 186 students graduate with their Diploma in Primary Education and 32 graduate with their Diploma in General Nursing.
Deputy Teaching Services Commissioner (Policy) Samson Wangihomie and Registrar of the PNG Nursing Council, Dr Nina Joseph, attended the graduation to accept the new teachers and nurses respectively.
Dignitaries from the DWU main campus included Prof Gibbs, Associate Prof Kekeya and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Kari Totona.
The graduation ceremony was preceded by the Missioning Ceremony held the day before at the
Vunapope Cathedral where the Archbishop of Rabaul, Francesco Panfilo, was the main celebrant.
(Associate Professor Kekeya presenting the teaching diploma to a graduating female trainee teacher)