I was honoured to present the Occasional Address to the 2012 Griffith University Business School Graduates: 

Good morning Acting Chancellor Mr Henry Smerdon AM, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and Provost Gold Coast, Professor Ned Pankhurst, Members of the official party, Graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for the invitation to deliver this Occasional Address on a day which is of excitement, importance and pride for the University, with the Griffith Business School presenting graduands for conferral of awards.  I am particularly honoured and thrilled to be here today for two reasons

Firstly, it was on this day (give a day three) 2 years ago that I was standing here in this very sport being presented with my conferral of award! And let me tell you … It certainly didn’t come a day too soon! My Bachelor of Business was a 12year process and as such it was a very special day where I was rewarded for more than a decade of persistent study, desire and commitment and also awarded with the Griffith Award for Academic Excellence 2010.

My journey for my study was tough and at times thought it all just too hard. However, I am certainly no stranger to hard work, setting goals, and making tough decisions. This is something I learned from a young age when I decided that I wanted to follow my passion of riding my bike, to represent our great country and wear the green and gold, and my desire to stand atop the podium with an Olympic Gold Medal. The years that consisted of pedalling my bike of up to 800km a week, the hours of blood, sweat and tears all culminated in the precious gold prize at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and I have never felt so overjoyed, proud, and fulfilled! … But my Griffith University Graduation comes a close second! 😉

The other reason why I am honoured to be here is today is to impart some advice through my experiences. The Griffith adage of ‘Know more. Do more’ is So apt … how often do we the saying ‘If I knew then what I know now!

One of things I have learned is to follow my passions and after I finished with being an elite athlete following the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, I started coaching and opened my own business, Sara Carrigan Cycling, whcih has been greatly enhanced with the knowledge I gained through my studies.

When you have a spare minute, I want you to close your eyes, dig deep down inside yourself to your very core and get in touch with what makes you tick, what brings goose bumps to your skin, what gets you excited, what brings a smile to your face? Find it and go after it with this newfound knowledge you now have!

This is not to say that it won’t be tough or that you will love it every minute but you will have a deep underlying drive of satisfaction and happiness that is enduring.

Your biggest opposition and your biggest challenge – is yourself.

So, don’t compromise yourself. Go out and be your best!

I wish to finish with a quote from a fellow Olympic Gold medallist that seems highly appropriate for you setting out on such an exciting journey!

Quite clearly, everyone has their own personal journey. 
People succeed in as many ways as there are people…
and Some can be completely fulfilled with destinations that are much closer to home and more comfortable.

But if you long to keep going, then I hope you are able to carve your own path and lead yourself to the places you wish to go, 
to within a whisper of your own personal perfection.

To places at the very edge of your dreams. -Michael Johnson

Below is a recording of the entire ceremony available for viewing. My presentation of the Occassional Address begins at 1:18:30:

Video streaming by Ustream