Issue 9
Monday, 19 June 2017
Charles Darwin University
(From left) Sam Buckworth, Dr Jenny Buckworth, Dr Karen Dempsey and Harry Owen
(From left) Sam Buckworth, Dr Jenny Buckworth, Dr Karen Dempsey and Harry Owen

Like mother, like son

By Ellie Turner

Two Territory families had double the celebration after two sons and their mothers graduated on the same day.

Harry Owen and Sam Buckworth graduated with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Industries respectively as their mums Karen Dempsey and Jenny Buckworth also donned graduation regalia.

It wasn’t the first time the women had dressed up together – Dr Buckworth said Dr Dempsey was one of her bridesmaids when she got married in Darwin in 1985.

“We have been friends for more than 30 years,” Dr Buckworth said.

Dr Buckworth, a senior lecturer with CDU’s School of Education, graduated after completing a PhD titled “System Failures? A phenomenological study of risk in pre-service teachers’ in-school experience”.

She taught in NT schools, including on Groote Eylandt, and worked in the NT Education Department until 2010.

Dr Dempsey graduated with a Doctorate in Public Health after completing her thesis titled “In harm’s way: A study of linked Northern Territory crash records”.

She trained as a nurse at the old Darwin Hospital before trying her hand as a barmaid at the Parap Hotel, a deckhand and cook on a prawn trawler, and a crocodile researcher.

Dr Dempsey returned to her career and became a remote area nurse, before turning her focus to epidemiology research.

She and Harry now both work for Menzies School of Health Research.