IT was a proud moment for Andrea Byrne on Monday evening, watching her son Nicholas graduate from Murdoch University.
There was pride too for Nicholas, and not only because of his own achievement.
In what was an extra special night for the family, Nicholas was recognised for completing his sound and radio degree, while Ms Byrne graduated with her bachelor of arts studies with honours in communications media.
“I have been part of his uni experience as both a parent and fellow Murdoch student, and am really happy to be sharing this with him,” Ms Byrne said.
Ms Byrne, who started 18 months prior to Nicholas, was initially concerned about how some might perceive the situation.
“I was more worried about being at uni together than Nic was,” she said.
“I thought people would imagine I was some crazy helicopter parent, going to uni with my son.
“Some of Nic’s friends asked if it was weird, but Nic was really relaxed about it.
“He just told them, ‘mum was here first’.
“I would say that being at uni together was a positive experience for us both.”
It had its benefits for a student short of cash, with mum always happy to shout the coffees.
“I had a university-oriented home life which was good,” Nicholas said.
“Mum understood what life as a student was like – the workload and challenges.
“We could talk about uni and debate ideas.”
Nicholas, 21, has started work at AAA Production Services as a sound technician.
Ms Byrne will do post-graduate research.
“My younger son begins university this year and he is studying at Murdoch as well – it really has become a family affair,” she said.
“My husband graduated from Curtin, but we don’t hold it against him.”