Dr. Jennifer Lavers is a researcher and lecturer in Marine Science at the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, and one of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Here is Jennifer’s message to graduates.
We can learn a great deal from birds. Their bravery in the face of the unknown and ability to trust their instincts is unrivalled. I’ve watched them crash land in the forest, and let me assure you, what defines character is not how you fall, but how you pick yourself up afterwards. If birds have taught me anything, it’s that what matters in life is not where you came from, your family name, your income or even luck – I’ve been pooped on by birds far too many times for that. What matters is this:
Flying solo makes you unique and brave, not weird (although that’s okay too).
Once you’ve found love, don’t let it go (and sing loudly).
And, if your parents kick you out of the nest, they’re only trying to teach you to fly.
Have courage and trust your instincts. Fly high, little birds; may fair winds always bring you safely home.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.