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Graduate Diploma of Journalism 2007
For Sydney graduate Stephanie Whybrow, a grandmother's wise encouragement played a large role in her becoming an award-winning journalist.
"I was an avid reader and writer from an early age - even now I love to read and write passionately. But it was my grandmother who really inspired me to take my writing further by suggesting my letters to her were worth publishing. So here I am now working as a journalist, travelling the world and meeting new people every day - I just love words and communicating with people" she said.
Following that advice all those years ago recently paid off for Stephanie when she won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize (Essay Competition) for her essay drawing attention to the plight of the Amazon rainforests being destroyed by increased mining.
"Winning the March 2008 Pulitzer Essay Competition was certainly one of my biggest career highlights to date. I am passionate about crisis reporting, expanding cultural awareness and ensuring under-reported issues receive due coverage - and I think protection of the Amazon rainforests is a vital issue for the public to be informed about," Ms Whybrow said.
Stephanie initially completed a Bachelor of Arts at Macquarie University before deciding to undertake postgraduate studies at Deakin where she went on to graduate with a Graduate Diploma of Journalism in 2007.
Based overseas for much of her studies, Stephanie explained that she enjoyed 'a very positive off-campus experience' over three years with Deakin.
"I chose to study journalism off-campus at Deakin because it had a fantastic reputation for distance learning. The understanding and support provided by the University was great. I found that the level of respect and value Deakin places on its students and the high standard of its distance learning were its greatest strengths."
"Completing the course has given me a new level of confidence and recognition," she said.
As for the future, Stephanie wants to work to increase international links between Australian and Spanish universities in order to promote more collaboration in research and also plans to find time to complete her first novel.
"I have explored various career paths over the years, which have enriched my ability to perceive and capture life in writing and as an extension of this I now want to complete my first novel which will encompass the culture, travel and history genres," she said.
Stephanie currently works as a freelance journalist in Spain, where she investigates and reports on world news and events.