Fremantle and Notre Dame first choice for Commodore’s daughters

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 17-12-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Over 800 students graduated from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s, Fremantle Campus on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 December. Four ceremonies were held over the two days with staff, family and friends and University supporters gathering to share in the celebrations.

Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame, Professor Celia Hammond said, “Graduation ceremonies are wonderful occasions for the University at which the students’ achievements are acknowledged and celebrated.

“There is a sense of pride and satisfaction for all concerned; the graduates themselves, their families and friends and the Notre Dame staff.

“This year we have had the extra joy of our first graduation for the School of Medicine, an historic milestone for the University, and the culmination of years planning and hard work. I congratulate the graduates at all four ceremonies on their fine achievement.”

For the Di Pietro family it was particularly special as eldest daughter, Flavia, was the recipient of the Physiotherapy Research Foundation Prize. The prize is awarded to the top Physiotherapy Honours student. she also received the Brian Edwards Memorial Award and the School of Health Sciences Dean’s Award.

Flavia’s parents flew from Washington DC to join Flavia and her two sisters, Louisa and Olivia, for the celebration. Her father is Commodore, Naval Attaché in Washington DC. Commodore Di Pietro was the Commander at HMAS Stirling Naval Base in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia, 2000 and 2001.

The three girls attended Iona Presentation College in Mosman Park, before being accepted as students at Notre Dame.

“My daughters love Fremantle and are very happy at Notre Dame,” said Commodore Di Pietro. “They like the way that Notre Dame cares for the ‘whole person’ rather than as just another student.

Since graduating, Flavia has worked at Royal Perth Hospital on a three month contract in areas of both acute care and rehabilitation.

“My aim is to spend these next couple of years or so as a new graduate working in hospital settings, both in Perth and in rural areas, with my aim being tor work as a physiotherapist in rural areas thereafter.

“I've wanted to move out of Perth and into rural WA now for quite some time. I really like the challenge associated with the clinical mix of patients a rural physiotherapist sees, as compared to the more specialised areas a city physio works in.

“Next year I'm off to Bunbury. I'd prefer to work in the bigger towns first because I'm not quite prepared yet to be the sole physio in a tiny outback town! Anyway, I think I'd like to stay in WA. We've certainly got a big variety of rural places to go to.”

Media contact:

Michelle Ebbs 08 9433 0610, 0408 959 138