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Madison Browne has managed to juggle elite level netball with a four-year education degree thanks to Deakin's Elite Athlete Friendly University program.
When Madison began her degree in 2006, she was selected to play for the Melbourne Kestrels in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy. Combining study with elite netball was a huge commitment for Madison, with a large amount of time spent travelling between Melbourne and Geelong.
Majoring in physical education, many of Madison's lecturers and tutors were understanding of her sporting commitments and were willing to extend and help when she was away.
In 2009 Madison re-located to Perth to continue her netball career with West Coast Fever in the ANZ Championships. Madison wanted to continue with her studies and through the Elite Athlete Friendly University program this was possible.
'Being the first student at Deakin to use the Elite Athlete Friendly University agreement was a learning experience for both me and the University,' Madison says.
Netball was a huge commitment for Madison in 2009, with a lot of time away travelling. She successfully captained the U/21 Australian netball team that won the World Youth Netball Championship in the Cook Islands. She also attended Australian Diamonds training camps and tours and completed a full season with West Coast Fever. Madison says that 'without the amazing support, backup and guidance from staff at Deakin I definitely wouldn't have been able to finish my degree'. However, in conjunction with her course adviser, Madison was able to complete her final year of study by taking advantage of Deakin's flexible approach, some cross institutional studies, and by completing her teaching rounds in Perth. Having completed her studies, Madison looks forward to the equally challenging roles of pursuing her dreams in elite netball and building a career as a teacher.