Retired couple celebrates achieving doctorates

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Proving that life doesn’t end at retirement, Melbourne couple David and Susie Utting made the most of an extended sojourn on the Sunshine Coast by earning doctorates.

The couple moved to Kawana Island in 2012 to be nearer their daughter and decided that education was key to a successful retirement. Having completed Masters degrees at the University of Queensland, the Uttings were no strangers to study. Enrolling at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), the couple can now add PhD to their titles.

While Susie secured her doctorate in creative arts in 2015, David took a little longer with his research into cricket and the development of an Australian national identity by migrants. Currently travelling overseas, his degree will be conferred this Thursday.

The couple has since moved back to the Mornington Peninsula but simply loved their time studying at USC. “We had a wonderful time at USC and on the Sunshine Coast and are missing both already,” said David.

Susie said the campus was friendly and welcoming towards mature-age students, which aided her success, “I enjoyed the research community lecture series and the peer support,” she said. For her paper, Susie researched and wrote about the history and demise of Yallourn, a mining town in the Latrobe Valley where the couple once lived.

Studying the lack of migrant representation on Australian test Cricket teams since the Second World War, David also praised the “excellent supervision” offered through USC. “It was really interesting research and I enjoyed interviewing migrant cricketers from Sri Lanka, India, the Pacific Islands, Afghanistan and Pakistan, to learn about their experiences,” he said.

Education is often something that older Australians consider when they are working less – either they were unable to do it when they first left school, or they have developed a particular interest over the years. And for anyone who is put off going ‘back to school’, hopefully Susie and David’s tale is one of inspiration.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 2
  1. 0

    And perhaps another HECS debt that will never be repaid. If retired people want to use universities for their own self gratification, they should be made to pay upfront.

    • 0

      To the best of my knowledge the doctorate degrees (as mention in this example) would not fall under a HECS debt – there is different levels of studies; undergraduate, honors, masters and doctorate.



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