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Proceedings at Parliament House

Arrival and Parking

Limited parking is available at Parliament House and the Parliamentary Circle. We strongly recommend the use of public transport where possible to avoid delays while trying to find a place to park. The University of Canberra offers a free shuttle bus service from the Bruce Campus and City Centre.

Graduands must arrive at least an hour and a half prior to the ceremony, to allow time for passing through security, registration and gowning. Graduands must report to the Registration Desk on arrival (found up the stairs to your right as you enter the Marble Foyer).

Guests are also advised to arrive at least one and a half hours prior to the ceremony. During busy periods the security lines can be long, causing delays for graduates and guests.

Graduands must be seated at least 30 minutes before the commencement of the ceremony. Please ensure you arrive in time to collect your gown and tickets.

Celebration Function

To celebrate your special day, immediately following your Ceremony you and your guests are invited to an exclusive function at Old Parliament House with beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), canap├ęs and entertainment.

Guests of graduates need to provide a copy of their ticket upon entry. Graduates enjoy immediate access.

Entry to the Reception can be paid at the door for friends and family who did not purchase guest tickets to the Ceremony. Only card payments will be accepted. Graduating students do not need to provide a ticket.

Arriving in Canberra by plane?

Canberra frequently experiences early morning fog. Though this is more prominent in winter, even the summer months have seen heavy morning fog. When this happens the Canberra Airport is often closed until the fog lifts and, at times, normal arrivals and departures can be delayed until 11.00am. It is strongly advised that interstate graduates and guests planning to attend a morning ceremony and are travelling by plane arrive in Canberra the night before the ceremony.

Late Arrivals

Graduands who arrive later than 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the ceremony will be too late to have their award presented to them at that ceremony. The award will be conferred in absentia at the ceremony and the testamur may be collected at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Disability Assistance

Students and/or guests who have a disability and/or accessibility requirements, are to please contact the Student Progress and Graduation Office. Staff will be available at the ceremonies to assist with any access requirements such as reserved aisle seating for guests in wheelchairs or with other requirements and seating in front rows for people with hearing or vision impairments.

Arrangements can also be made for students with accessibility requirements who need assistance with transport to and from the venue. To assist in this process, email The Student Progress and Graduation Office with your ceremony details, student name, number of guests and assistance required.

Cloak Room

A cloak room service is not available at the Parliament House. Please make arrangements prior to the ceremony to store your belongings either on your person, or in another safe location. You cannot take bags, phones or other personal items up on stage when receiving an award.

Presentation and Conferral

The Chancellor will declare the proceedings open. The ushers will direct the candidates to move from their seats to the side of the dais.

When a candidate's name is called, and as prompted by the usher, they should mount the dais and walk across to the Chancellor. Note that hats will not be doffed. The Chancellor will then present the testamur, which the candidate should take in the left hand. The Chancellor will then shake hands with the candidate.

After receiving the award, the candidate should walk down the centre ramp and up the central aisle to the back of the Hall. The candidate should then resume their seat via a side aisle as directed by the ushers.

After the Occasional address has been delivered and the Chancellor has declared the Proceedings closed, graduates will leave the Hall in procession via the central aisle, preceded by Marshals. They will be followed by the Procession (official party and academic staff), official guests and candidates' guests.

Graduates and guests are required to leave the Hall and move into the foyer of Parliament House. Graduands and guests are encouraged to go to the Celebration Reception immediately following their ceremony.

If, for any reason, graduands or guests need to leave the Hall during the ceremony, they should go to the main doors at the rear of the Hall and ask for assistance from the usher.  It is advisable not to bring children under six years of age to the ceremony. Note that prams and strollers are not permitted at any time in the central aisle of the Hall.

We request that guests do not film the ceremony.

Please remember to switch off mobile phones.

Photographs and Framing

Personal cameras are permitted during the ceremony but should be used discretely. Reed Graduations are the official photographers and will be in attendance to photograph all graduands at the ceremony. Candidates wishing to have a commemorative photograph taken are liable for a sitting fee payable at the time to the official photographer.

Reed Graduations also offer framing services (for both photographs and certificates) at Parliament House to enable you to have your degree framed immediately following the ceremony.

To view a full range of graduation services available, please click here.

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