THE big day has finally arrived for CQUniversity graduates who can finally collect that elusive piece of paper they have worked so hard to obtain.
PhD graduate Bruce Shuker is among the 152 students who has completed their courses ranging from diplomas, bachelor degrees, graduate diplomas, masters and doctoral levels who is set to attend today's graduation ceremony at CQU's Rockhampton North campus.
Graduates will witness guest speaker Senator Matthew Canavan and the conferring of the degree of Honorary Doctor of Education on Lynne Foley OAM, recognising her as one of the most broadly experienced and successful education leaders in Queensland.
Rockhampton local Bruce Shuker, 67, completed his Bachelor of Arts in 1990, his masters in the early 2000's and after he retired in 2010, decided to have a crack at a PhD - to prove to his grand kids that age is no barrier.
He's now a doctor in sociology after writing a thesis comparing international approaches towards policy and community-based supervision of mentally ill persons who sometimes criminally offend.
"It's about supervision of mentally ill persons who offend whilst they are in the community,” Dr Shuker said.
"I wrote about the specific subset that a lot of times are in trouble with the police and go before the mental health court and they may be sent to the mental hospital for treatment and then they are released on the say so of a psychologist or psychiatrist.
He said because of government cost cutting, it was cheaper to release mentally ill offenders into the community than to keep them in treatment and he in several instances, the supervision of these released 'at risk' people was inadequate.
Mr Shuker compared the percentage of mentally ill people re-offending in Australia which was approximately 45-50% with a successful program in Milwaukee, US which had a 90% success rate in preventing re-offences.
He said the key was adequate post release supervision, particularly with regards to ensuring they stuck to their prescribed medication.