Hadi Graduation Macquarie

Over the top? Hadi Hosseini Doesn't Think So!

Years ago, an article and subsequent blog post appeared in the Herald-Sun that dissed the wearing of academic dress by prep and grade students. A prominent columnist questioned this wearing of graduation gowns and hats supposing it was too formal, too serious and ‘Americanized’.

But it’s that time of year again – end of year ceremony season, as we call it.

Daylight savings begins, warmer weather starts (not quite the case here in Melbourne), the spring racing season comes and goes. Then end of year parties and functions start being organized, Christmas card lists and end of year gifting get put on the to-do list. It comes around fast, and it all happens so quickly.

But first, for many young Australians this time of year brings the culmination of many years at school. Whether it be HSC, VCE, WACE or QCE, right across Australia students are soon to enjoy that magnificent time of life when the stress of end of school exams comes to a close and the celebration begins.


Ben Williams Photography www.ben-williams.com

The year 12 graduation is a highlight of this exciting time for students, parents and teaching staff. The school community comes together to applaud matriculates, reflect upon the educational journey of years past, celebrate student achievements and look forward to bright futures.

Many students are very excited to wear their black graduation gowns to mark the occasion. Often students will wear the combination of their gown with graduation hat (otherwise known as mortar board or trencher). Sometimes the school will also have graduates wear colored or embroidered stoles.

Whatever the case, each gorgeous young graduate wearing graduation garments is a sight-to-see for parents, friends and school community alike. It’s the ultimate selfie, to have self and school friends in black gown and graduation hat, beaming with happiness.

Graduation Selfie

Photo by D Landy Courtesy TAFE NSW

The graduation regalia marks the occasion.

Now and forever those selfies and photos will have an immediate context – there’s me in my graduation gown, that’s my high school graduation, and I’ll never forget it.

Teaching staff may also wear their academic dress to formalize the secondary school graduation. Teachers wearing their regalia for bachelor and master degrees, or PhD qualifications, create a colorful, impressive scene at the ceremony and can provide inspiration for graduating students wishing to pursue further study.

While such pomp and circumstance is often sneered at, labelled as being ostentatious, gaudy or even pretentious, this display of teachers in their academic dress is a gracious nod to graduating students, a big ‘well-done’ from the school community. Some may even consider it a mark of respect to graduates and a welcome to the working world!

For all of us fortunate enough in our wonderful country, the importance and privilege of education is paramount to both the individual and community. No matter what grade one achieves or at what level one graduates, the individual has successfully completed years of hard work and finally met the educational requirements set by our society.


Ben Williams Photography www.ben-williams.com

So this milestone occasion should, in our opinion, be celebrated and to embellish it with the wearing of academic dress is nothing too serious and certainly not ‘Americanized’ (Australian academic dress is modelled upon British and European precedents). It’s a special time. It’s fun, it’s the ultimate selfie. A once in a lifetime occasion. Let’s color it with all things that mark our educational achievements!

A big well-done and congratulations to all year 12 graduates from us!