Former ABC journalist and Deakin law student Katherine Bedford has won the prestigious Supreme Court Prize for best student in 2014.
Presented by The Honourable Justice Peter Riordan, the prize recognises the outstanding academic achievements of the top graduating student, with Katherine being selected from a pool of over 200 candidates.
Professor Mirko Bagaric, Dean of Law and Head of Deakin Law School says he is delighted that the award was presented to a person who is so resourceful and aspiring.
'It is a great example and inspiration to all students and demonstrates what can be achieved with consistent hard work, a determined resolve and a positive attitude.'
Katherine started her law degree after 13 very successful years in journalism, ten of which were spent with ABC Statewide Drive.
'I loved my job but I was ready for a new challenge. I have always lived by the belief that I didn't want to be one of those people stuck in the same job long after the challenge and joy had disappeared.
'I would say 'do it' to anyone who is contemplating taking up further studies. Life flies by regardless of how we spend our time, so you might as well be doing something worthwhile,' she says.
Katherine explains that winning the prize was a great recognition of the hard work that goes into studying online as a mature age student and the dedication that ultimately secured her a job as trainee lawyer with prestigious law firm Maurice Blackburn.
'Overall studying was a great experience and I am so grateful that Deakin provides brilliant services to people, who like me are from regional and rural areas and don't have the capacity to attend a city campus.
'Now that I am actually out working in the real world of legal practice I can really appreciate how well Deakin's LLB sets students up for professional life post-study. It is a very practical and relevant course and, from my experience, employers regard Deakin graduates very highly for having those practical skill-sets.'
Professor Bagaric adds that Katherine's achievement demonstrates the quality and personalised nature of Deakin's cloud-based program and the benefits of a flexible learning environment to very busy and organised students.
'The cloud based learning environment creates fantastic opportunities for all people to undertake a high-quality degree which considerably enhances career opportunities.
'The community in turn benefits from the fact that motivated, smart people now have the opportunity to provide them with effective legal representation. I am delighted about that,' he says