Karmichael Hunt has played in some of Australia’s biggest sporting arenas but standing on stage to deliver the Valedictorian speech at his University of Southern Queensland graduation was one of the most nerve-wracking moments of all.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) he addressed the University of Southern Queensland graduating year at the Ipswich Civic Centre last night (September 29).
“I’ve played in front of thousands, in some high-pressure situations across multiple sports, but the thought of giving a speech today, in front of all our guests, petrified me,” he said.
“I clearly managed to get out of my own way, and accepted this honourable role, so please bear with me as I try and do your amazing academic achievements some justice.”
Looking to the crowd, where he could see his wife and eldest daughter, he thanked all families for supporting their loved ones.
“Thank you for being there for us, when we have been stressed out with assignment deadlines, overloaded with work duties, and simply worn-out by the enormity of our lives,” he said.
“If not for your unconditional support, love, kindness, patience, and comfort, graduating today would not have been possible.”
Mr Hunt’s university path started with a bridging course to enter an undergraduate program.
“I was going through some difficult times when I looked to USQ to enrol in a Tertiary Preparation Program,” he said.
“I knew I wasn’t in the right situation in my life and knew there must be a better way forward.
“This led me to get on the phone to USQ, to firstly enrol in the Tertiary Preparation Program, and then to go on and get a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.”
He has played at the top level in rugby league, rugby union and Australian Rules but said the next arena was the most important of his life.
The father-of-four is now embarking on a Master of Research in the sport psychology field at the University of Southern Queensland under the supervision of leading sport psychologists Professor Peter Terry and Professor Andrea Lamont Mills.
“I have a rich history in sport and to be able to learn the theory behind the psychology of sport performance in athletes is the direction I want to head,” he said.
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Karmichael Hunt graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) at the University of Southern Queensland graduation ceremony yesterday at the Ipswich Civic Centre.