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Valedictorian’s pledge to save the planet

He’s spent much of the past few years immersed in a virtual reality project educating people about the future impacts of climate change, but for Vipin Dhunnoo, the real world is looking pretty good about now.

Mr Dhunnoo graduated from Bond University today with a Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning/Master of Project Management, the culmination of two years of study that also saw him finish as valedictorian and receive the Vice Chancellor’s Dux Award.

Mr Dhunnoo was thrilled to be named dux, which comes with a $1000 prize, although he said it was an unexpected honour.

“I don’t have any words to describe it, it wasn’t something you expect, because you always see other people get it, and then when you get it…it’s unreal really,” he said.

Starting at Bond in 2019 after moving to Australia from his home country of Mauritius, Mr Dhunnoo said he would look back fondly on his time on the Gold Coast.

“It’s been a great journey, a quick one, especially with Bond’s intense semesters. But I’m looking forward to putting into practice a lot of the things I’ve learnt.”

In particular he noted the diversity of Bond and the Australian connection with the wider Asia-Pacific region.

He also appreciated the Transformer entrepreneurship program, which he worked closely with on Aftermath, his virtual reality experience designed to highlight the environmental impacts of climate change.

While the first version of Aftermathwas based on an island environment similar to Mauritius, a more recent second iteration of the project was based on the Gold Coast’s Cavill Avenue, and shows one of the Gold Coast’s iconic G:Link trams surrounded by water.

As Mr Dhunnoo prepares to return home to Mauritius and his previous work as an architect, he remains hopeful that he will be able to build on both his studies and his work on Aftermath to contribute to the future health of the planet.

“I’ll definitely use my experience and exposure here for further work, whatever that might be.”

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