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Starting a law degree at Deakin University in Warrnambool has been the perfect launching pad for Tim Jackson.
Tim recently graduated with honours in his Bachelor of Laws in Geelong where he received the Vice-Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding Contribution to University Life.
Tim said coming to Warrnambool was "the best thing that happened to me as a university student".
"I chose to study law at Deakin University due to its focus on commercial law and the ability to study at three campuses, particularly Warrnambool. As I am originally from a country town (Wangaratta), the two years at Warrnambool enabled me to learn in an environment I was accustomed to," he said.
"I wanted to stay in the country if I could and being in Warrnambool certainly helped me settle in much easier. There was a real family atmosphere and sense of nurturing."
The award is presented to students who have made "an outstanding contribution to the life and work of Deakin University".
Tim's contribution included serving as secretary and vice-president of the Deakin University Commerce and Law Society in Warrnambool, eventually helping to make it the biggest student society on campus.
As vice president he was directly in charge of the education portfolio and developed key strategies to assist first year students along with social events.
During his second year in Warrnambool he became the student representative on the Deakin law executive board which gave him the opportunity to voice student concerns and feedback.
In 2010, he became a tutor for law students in criminal law and law society and civil rights law.
Tim completed the last two years of his course at the Deakin University Geelong Campus.
Up to four medals are conferred each year with one to each faculty. The prize consists of $1000 and a framed medallion.
Five of the six law students who graduated at the recent Geelong ceremony after starting their courses in Warrnambool received distinctions.
Tim is now working as a legal assistant at Slater and Gordon in Melbourne.