Batchelor Institute » The lightning for others to follow
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Date:August 21, 2013

The lightning for others to follow

Families, friends and classmates of students from the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education gathered together to celebrate their achievements at the 2013 graduation ceremony held at Battery Hill Mining Centre, Tennant Creek, Northern Territory on 13 August 2013.

As students robed in gold made their way up through the grounds of Barkly Hill to where the ceremony was being held, many well-wishers took photos of the inspiring students to commemorate the day.

Thirty of the forty-six proud Indigenous students of Batchelor Institute received their diplomas and certificates at the outdoor ceremony at Barkly Hill. Barkly Shire President Barbara Shaw; Gerry McCarthy, MLA Barkly; Adrian Mitchell, Batchelor Institute Director and Claire Kilgariff, Head of the Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences were present to watch students receiving their awards.

Commendable student achievement:

  • 4 students received their Certificate II Community Services
  • 10 students received their Certificate I Work Preparation (Community Services)
  • 4 students received their Certificate III Children’s Services
  • 7 students received their Certificate III Education Support
  • 12 students received their Diploma Education Support
  • 1 student received Certificate I Business
  • 8 students received their Certificate IV Education Support


Within this graduating cohort there was a mother and son; an assistant teacher and their former pupil; and two sisters.

Julie Peterson, mother of fellow graduate Derek Peterson Beasley was the first person in her community, Wutunugurra, to earn a formal qualification. Her son is going on to undertake his Certificate IV, one of her daughters has enrolled in Certificate III and another son is in the process of enrolling.

Two of the diploma graduates are signing up to be tutors with Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) with a few more considering this opportunity.

Keynote speaker Doris Johnson, a Wogyia woman and mobile pre-school teacher, praised all the graduates for their hard work and dedication, referring to the students as “the lightning for others to follow”.

In fact,’ Lightning in the Making’ was the theme of this graduation ceremony, highlighted by artwork of the same name by local artist Tristan Duggie which tells the story of the rain (ngapa) travelling from his grandmother’s country.

“Lightning in the Making is a powerful metaphor of transformation and change for today’s graduates”, said Ms Johnson, who was born and bred on the Barkly Tablelands, Alexandria Station.

“You are working in your schools and making a difference in your communities”Doris Johnson

The student response was delivered by Lucy Tanami: “This is a big moment for students of the Barkly”, said Ms Tanami, who provides support for students learning in numeracy and literacy and Indigenous Language and Culture, “It’s even bigger than when Prince George was born.”

Indeed, from the Welcome to Country by Eva Ricky (Waramanga) to the speeches, including those from Master of Ceremonies Greg Minogue, Principal Capacity Building, Department of Education; and from Department of Education Chief Executive Officer Ken Davies, it was agreed by all present that the 2013 Batchelor Institute graduates are the ones to make a difference in the Barkly.