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Everything you want to know about graduation

So you’re graduating... Congratulations! Here's some helpful info so you can get the most out of your grad experience.

By TAFE Queensland

So you’re graduating, congratulations! We’re so proud of you! Your graduation ceremony is going to be heaps of fun. Here's some helpful info so you can get the most out of your grad experience.

When is my graduation ceremony?

Great question. We have a range of ceremonies across the state throughout the year for graduating students.



Where do I go and what do I do?

When you arrive, make your way inside and familiarise yourself with the venue.

You will register your arrival and check out important details in the gowning area. If anything is incorrect (like your name or qualification) it is a lot easier to fix it now than seconds before you walk across the stage.

What about my guests?

We know you guys are super tight, but you need to spread your wings and separate for a little while.

Nominate a place to meet them after you’ve registered and gowned up, like the bench under a tree or the mezzanine area. The next time you see them you’ll be all dressed up in your graduation gear and ready for all those compulsory photos (ugh really Dad, you're embarrassing me)!

Get frocked up

After arriving, you’ll be directed to the gowning area (look for a helpful staff member if you're not sure where to go). This is where you get the academic regalia you need, such as your schmancy fancy grad gown and mortar board (aka the square hat thing with the tassle). Depending on your qualification and level you'll be kitted out in different combinations and coloured sashes. Tah dah! You now look like a graduand!

You may also be assigned a number. Don’t lose or forget your number. It is your seating allocation and stage announcement order. You need it. Like, REALLY need it.

What’s next? Photography!

It’s time to indulge in a selfie-a-thon and compliment your friends on how fab they look. Find your family and head towards the official graduation photographers. They can take individual, group and family portraits.

If you spot a staff member with a camera, grab your friends and family and smile for a 'social photograph'. We use these on social media (#tafequeensland #graduation) and for a variety of other things like next year's graduation invite, media stories, and more.

The serious stuff begins

Before the ceremony is due to begin, you need to attend a compulsory student briefing. You may notice a stampede of other students heading in a particular direction and that's usually a pretty good indicator you need to move and where to go. If you're not sure, just ask a staff member, otherwise we'll round you up better than our rural teachers and their cattle.

This is super important: you most likely won’t see your family again until after the ceremony. So give them all hugs, hand over your purse / backpack / handbag / coat / teddy bear and send them off to entertain themselves.

Why? You shouldn't carry bags etc on stage, and you might not go back to the same seat after you’ve walked across the stage. We get it, separating yourself from your stuff is a real and painful thing, but better that it’s with your mum than under someone else’s chair, right?

Now get in line!

During the briefing we’ll give a rundown on how the ceremony works and what you can expect. Please don’t wander off after the briefing! Don’t be that guy who goes missing and holds up the start of the ceremony while we send out search parties.

While all this is going on, you'll also need to get in line according to the number you got while gowning (see, we told you it was important). You walk in, sit, and walk across the stage according to this number.

Where's mum/dad/little sis/Great Uncle Franklin?

Guests will be invited to start taking their seats before the ceremony begins. Guest seating is not allocated. But, no one else except for the stars of the ceremony (that's you) are allowed to sit in the graduating student seating.

During the ceremony

Graduands and guests are not permitted to leave the ceremony until it's over (except if someone needs to duck to the bathroom or aliens invade). This means you’re not allowed to do a runner after collecting your certificate! Can you imagine if everyone left right after their moment in the spotlight? The poor last graduands crossing the stage would have to do it in front of an empty hall, which would be really, really uncool. Please give your classmates the courtesy of staying and celebrating their successes along with your own.

After the ceremony

Yay! You did it! From student to graduate in the blink of an eye! If you didn’t take photos before the ceremony, do it now. It's now time to celebrate (and stuff your face with cake #treatyoself).

Share it

Congrats once again. You did it! You’re going to have a great day. Share the love on Facebook, Instagram (tag us @tafe_queensland) and Twitter (@TAFEQld). Don't forget to hashtag #tafequeensland, #makegreathappen and #graduation.