Tim Griffin presented the Occasional Address at the 2020 Gladstone Graduation Ceremony. He completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) in 1992, a Graduate Diploma of Management in 1994 and a Master of Business Administration in 1996. He is the Principal Civil Infrastructure Asset Engineer of Network Assets Management for Aurizon and has been a longstanding volunteer at CQUni, including as a member of the University Governance Council from 2006 to 2014.
As a proud CQUniversity graduate – and I want to share some advice from my professional career to you, the Gladstone Graduation Class of 2020.
Notable things that have occurred during your time studying at CQUniversity have been: Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017 across Central Queensland, the first solo kayak voyage across the Tasman from NSW to NZ, the Thai soccer team and their coach rescued from flooded cave and CQUni welcoming a new Chancellor and Vice Chancellor & President.
The CQUni Marina campus began back when I was in my post-graduate university studies (opening) in 1994 and now in 2020, the Gladstone City Campus has been relocated to the Marina Precinct.
I was a typical university student enrolling back in the late 1980s where CQUni had less than 10,000 enrollments and now a generation later, there are over 30,000.
Last year the human race celebrated the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon and I also celebrated a similar life milestone birthday, where I am now past halfway to somewhere.
As I look out towards you, the newest of CQUniversity graduates, I can reflect to where you are now seated. Congratulations on your persistence, sacrifice and dedication towards your chosen field of study.
Graduations are about celebration, recognition and tradition. I have prepared a short speech to aid your working career journey, but also how being an active citizen amongst the community you live in is so beneficial.
Every workplace and industry has its own language and jargon. In my railway profession, the terms like Fish Plates, Dog Spike, Pigs Foot & Sleepers and acronyms like EWP, PCB, LSC, FLOC, are common so my advice is to embrace these aspects of your newly started career.
An acronym of the three values I personally aspire to is:
“C.I.A.” – Courage, Integrity and Achievement
Your hard work and achievement will enable you to develop, progress and establish a lifetime of opportunities and experiences.
A personal philosophy of mine is, “to view the world from a desk – is a lonely perspective”. Thus, I have been fortunate enough to have had worked and lived locally (Rockhampton, Mackay and Brisbane), interstate (Melbourne, Victoria) and overseas in Cardiff, Wales – United Kingdom.
Statistics show that many of you will work with between 8-10 different employers during your working life and what comes of this are great opportunities to live in different geographical locations.
Whilst working as a head of branch for the Welsh assembly government from 2006-2008, my wife and family relocated to the other side of the world, to broaden our life experience.
My wife, Kelsey would volunteer at our then two primary school-aged daughters school in Cardiff, Wales. I was fortunate also to represent the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks (DEIN) in Cardiff’s University-Industry Roundtable, whose Vice-Chancellor had also been the Global General Manager (GM) of Ford Research and Development.
This collaboration experience complemented my support of an Australian “Re-Engineering Australia” High school-based balsawood F1 program to promote the linkage of mathematics and science to engineering application. During my voluntary time with this REA program, the team and I were able to raise sponsorship funding from industry, government and JAG Motor Corporation.
These opportunities were challenging, sometimes difficult due to the unknown and most importantly, rewarding.
Being an alumnus of my Alma Mater, which you will also soon be graduating from, is due recognition.
The CQUniversity Doctrine is “PerPetua” – Forever Learning, and I know the vast majority of you today are just thankful that there are no more late nights, study weekends, assignments and exam blocks – for the immediate future, my advice is celebrating your academic achievements (for now).
Upon completing my undergraduate studies in a Bachelor of Civil Engineering while engaged to be married, I progressed to completing a Master of Business Administration – while starting a family, then a Graduate Diploma in Company Directorship (AICD) as the Honorary National President of my engineering profession and then just last year, I became a certified associate in asset management by completing seminar attendance and online assessment.
All these significant life experiences required “courage” to adapt to change, time pressures, cultural differences, different technology and lifestyles… much like undertaking university studies!
My personal values are around “integrity”, where from my experience it takes decades to build a credible professional reputation and only minutes to lose it… remember, integrity is not only doing the right thing while being watched, but your integrity is how you do things…when NO one is watching, because this value is your core belief.
I prefer to help and give…than to receive, but I must admit that this opportunity to be your guest speaker at my Alma Mater – is very humbling, rewarding and very much appreciated.
In the words of the late President of the United States: Ronald Reagan “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit”.
My advice to you is that lifelong learning is enriching for human beings and enables interaction in workplace team environments.
The three key takeaways I would like you to remember from listening to me this Thursday summer’s afternoon are:
1. Understand your professions jargon
3. Lifelong learning…and accept opportunities and challenges
And in the words of America’s NBL great Michael Jordan, “Some People Want it to Happen……Other Wish it Would Happen…And Others Make it Happen”.
I encourage YOU to continue “Making it Happen”.
Thank you for the opportunity and address you today and for your attention.