Vice-Chancellor welcomes new students to ANU

18 February 2019

The Australian National University (ANU) Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC has welcomed thousands of new students to the University as part of the 2019 Commencement Address.

Indigenous elder Wally Bell acknowledged the arrival of the students on Ngunnawal land, and spoke about the deep connection his people have shared with this area for 25,000 years.

The Vice-Chancellor welcomed the new students to the University and encouraged them to make the most of their time at ANU.

"It's a daunting experience travelling away from home to start a new degree, but you're not alone. Some of the most interesting and talented people you'll ever meet are sitting next to you right now," Professor Schmidt said.

"You have one thing in common already. You've chosen to come here to Canberra to study at one of the world's great universities."

Professor Schmidt also recommended students seek out the range of opportunities on offer to them as members of the ANU community.

"It's in your hands, so get out there and be part of it," he said.

2018 Indigenous Alumna of the Year and Cobble Cobble woman, Professor Megan Davis, also passed on some words of wisdom to commencing students.

"Be a flexible thinker, not a rigid thinker. Listen to what other people are saying," Professor Davis said.

"Don't be fenced in by convention and the status quo, be curious and read widely. If you want to change the world, you have to imagine the world can change."

ANU Students' Association President Eden Lim and Postgraduate & Research Students' Association President Zyl Hovenga-Wauchope added their own welcome messages.

The 2019 commencement address took place on University Avenue and in the new Kambri precinct at ANU.

The event marks the beginning of O-Week celebrations for both new and returning students.