55 years since our first graduation ceremony

5 WAIT regalia sashes of multiple colours with gold terraform WAIT logo on a black background

On 14 June 1968, our very first graduation ceremony was held in Hayman Hall in building 102 (now Curtin Connect) on the Perth campus.

“A graduation ceremony is at any time an occasion for rejoicing and congratulations. Tonight, however, is somewhat unique in this respect. This is the first graduation ceremony of the Western Australian Institute of Technology. It is also the first official ceremonial in this fine hall. There can never be another graduation to quite match this one.” – WAIT director Haydn Williams’ introductory speech

Present were 168 graduands who were to receive the first awards to be issued by the Institute, as well as friends and family. Also in attendance were guests who had been associated with the establishment of the Institute and were significant in the early advancement of technical education in the state (Ray Davis, William Hayman, Leslie Hollis, TL Robertson, Roy Henderson).

The Charge to Graduates was read by director Haydn Williams:

“I charge you as graduates of the Western Australian Institute of Technology

  • to apply with vigour and integrity your knowledge and skills and to continually advance these by appropriate study and enquiry,
  • to use your talents in the wider service of those with whom you work and of your community,
  • and to uphold at all times the good name of the Institute

to the end that you may enjoy a just satisfaction in your life and work, and contribute continually to the well being of your fellow men.”

The first Graduate of the Institute was a female student, issued an Award in art education.

Since 1968, the growth of WAIT, the transition into Curtin and the development of our global campuses have seen graduation ceremonies across multiple generations, time zones and locations.

The 2000th graduate at the 1972 WAIT graduation ceremony
a concert hall room at a graduation ceremony. the seats are filled with graduates wearing black academic gowns and coloured sashes, and other attendees in plain clothing.
Perth Concert Hall
Perth Concert Hall, 1987
The transition from WAIT to Curtin, 1988
a formal portrait of three rows of student graduates wearing black academic gowns and coloured sashes, holding their graduation certificates. behind them is a large black sign with 'Curtin University of Technology' in yellow.
Sarawak, Malaysia
A room full of Curtin Singapore students sitting wearing academic gowns, sashes and mortarboards, appauding at their graduation.
A lecture theatre full of students standing in black academic gowns and wearing gold sashes and mortarboards.
WA School of Mining
The Forum, Perth campus
The Forum, Perth campus
Curtin Mauritius
Curtin Dubai