Graduation ceremonies – what to expect

Find out what to do when you arrive at your graduation ceremony, and what happens on the day.

When to arrive

You need to arrive at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre two hours before the ceremony to allow time to have your regalia fitted. Note: Registration and gowning closes one hour before the ceremony; allow plenty of time to get to the venue in case of transport or parking issues.

Report to the registration and gowning room in Plenary (in the Convention Centre building, lower ground floor).

Make sure you bring your student ID or another photo ID.

Guests should arrive an hour before the ceremony starts e.g. 3pm for a 4pm ceremony. Make sure that your guests are carrying their own tickets.

Order of events

  1. Graduates register and have their regalia fitted.
  2. Graduates take their seats in the ceremony hall/Plenary (45 minutes before the ceremony).
  3. Guests take their seats in the ceremony hall/Plenary (45 minutes before the ceremony).
  4. The ceremony begins with an academic procession.
  5. The national anthem is sung.
  6. Graduates are presented on the stage.
  7. The ceremony concludes after 90–120 minutes.
  8. Light refreshments are served.

What to do on the stage

A staff member will collect you from your seat when your name is about to be called and direct you to the stage.

Once you're on the stage, you will need to:

  1. Wait until your name is called, then accept your graduation tube from the chancellor.
  2. Have your photograph taken.
  3. Leave the stage via the central stairs.

Check out our 5 steps to nailing your graduation ceremony video to guide you. 


You can have professional photos taken before and after the ceremony. Book your photography in advance through GFP Graduations or on the day.