A disabled student who left her wheatbelt hometown of Kununoppin to study at The University of Western Australia is among more than 1,300 graduands to be awarded degrees during the Spring Graduation series starting on Monday.
Kylie Forth (23) is blind and has only one leg, but she made the courageous decision to live at St Catherine's College. She is now studying Law, after completing her Arts degree last year. Kylie will receive her BA in the first of the graduation ceremonies, in Winthrop Hall.
She missed the Autumn Graduation ceremony because she was representing WA in a world sailing competition. Kylie has also sailed on the STS Leeuwin and, just like all the able-bodied sighted young people who go on the Leeuwin, Kylie climbed the mast.
Kylie, now living in Joondanna, has used a Braille notepad and computer with a screen reader to enable her to complete her studies. As for Law, "it's another experiment. I'm not sure where it will take me," she said.
There are 1,374 graduands who will receive bachelor degrees, diplomas, Masters and higher degrees in four ceremonies during the week in Winthrop Hall. They include 99 being awarded PhDs.
The first cohort of the new Master of Infectious Diseases will also graduate. The course has already attracted more than 50 students from around the world to train under Professor Geoff Shellam in the Marshall Centre for Infectious Diseases.