studying at st barnabas

St Barnabas Commencement Service 2017


At the beginning of every academic year St Barnabas holds its largest, most important event – the Commencement Service.

Hosted, this year, in the magnificent St Peter’s Cathedral, the service is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our students in the previous year, whilst looking forward to the year ahead.

The procession

The service began with a procession of College Staff, followed by a welcome, readings from Scripture, prayers for the upcoming year and a recognition of the many Library volunteers who assisted in 2016.

It was at this point that the previous year’s graduates, and recipients of various academic awards were announced and recognised, with an official representative from Charles Sturt University, Sue Moloney, presenting these awards.


Sue Moloney congratulating PhD recipient Melinda Cousins

Shaun McGrath – Diploma of Theology
Jane Bailey – Graduate Diploma of Theology
Margaret Dingle – Bachelor of Theology
Rosemary McWhirter-Whitlock – Bachelor of Theology
Dr Howard Harris – Master of Theology
Dr Melinda Cousins – Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Prizes:

Susan Nirta – Anglican-SA Prize for Ministry
Michele Yuen – Albert Reginald Thrush Prize for Theological Studies
Rory Westgarth – St Peter’s Cathedral Prize for Best Commencing Student
Jo Smith – St Peter’s College Prize for School Chaplaincy
Margaret Dingle – St Barnabas College Prize for Academic Excellence (UG)
Dr Howard Harris & Jane Bailey – St Barnabas College Prize for Academic Excellence (PG)

In the service, we also took the opportunity to recognise those having completed units in our Chinese Studies Program, coordinated by the Rev’d Dr Joseph Chung.

Introduction to the Old Testament
Jianyun Liu

Introduction to the New Testament
Luc Xuyen Vuong

Part of our Chinese cohort
The Principal giving the Commencement Lecture

Introduction to Old Testament & New Testament
Ruo Yu Yuan
Wei Hong Xu
Ju Bin Gao
Daniel Liu
Clair Li
Jingyu Zhao
Nika Xie
Jim Jiang
Alan Qing Yu Xue
Ge An
Qirui Xu
Dr Liang Zhong Chen
Helen Guo
Victoria Tsang
Mei Chuan Li
Jing Wen Li
Wing Hang Ho
Ailin Tang
Tao Han

The awards ceremony was then completed by the Principal giving the commencement address, a lecture of an academic nature entitled, The Poetry of God: Lament(ations) as Truth-Telling – an extended reflection on the nature of Biblical poetry, the problem of its interpretation and the necessity of this poetry for day-to-day existence.

Food and Drink – the highlight of any event

Official proceedings aside, all involved in the service, staff and students, attendees and volunteers, were invited across the road to the college for light refreshments concluding what was truly a splendid evening – an evening which reflected the ethos and priorities of the College: an institution dedicated to encouraging and building a community wherein we all can grow in both our knowledge and love of God, together.

Thank you to all staff and students who gave many hours to help ensure the smooth running of the event, and, once again, congratulations to the many students who either graduated or received awards

May the rest of 2017 be a reflection of this night!


Written by Anthony Bondarenko

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