The Pilbara Kimberley University Centre held a special celebration at the Red Earth Arts Precinct to recognise the hardworking regional 2023 graduates. The ceremony, which was held on August 10, celebrated a milestone with a record number of 33 graduates. Among the cohort were 11 nursing students and the first cohort of 14 Rio Tinto employees who completed Graduate Certificates in Project Management, Asset Maintenance and Management and a Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership and Mentoring. There were also individual awards for some of the centre’s top students, with Fiona Larsen taking home the community spirit award, and Michael Gillam being named the centre’s Dux as the highest academic achiever in the cohort. PKUC academic co-ordinator Dr Jacinta Homann said she was proud to see a record-breaking cohort graduate. “It’s wonderful to see regional, rural, and remote students succeeding in higher education without the need to leave their families, homes or jobs,” she said. Regional education commissioner Fiona Nash said it was fantastic to see the students reach the end of a “challenging” study commitment. “That’s been the wonderful thing about these regional universities is that they provided an opportunity for people locally to look at doing the study of their choice at regional universities, it is very exciting,” she said. New PKUC partnerships and projects for 2023-2024 include the mixed-mode delivery of a Curtin University Undergraduate Certificate of Engineering to Fortescue indigenous employees and the Santos-sponsored STEM in SPORT Science Research Project involving local high school students and athletes.