Claire Duke is on top of the world after becoming University College's first-ever graduate in the Diploma of Sustainable Living.
The Victorian paramedic, who already completed two bachelor degrees, including one at the University of Tasmania, thought a return to study was impossible due to her already busy work and home lives.
But after "stumbling" across the diploma while studying a single online subject - the Science of Gardening 1 - Ms Duke said she was intrigued about what the rest of the curriculum had to offer.
"The Science of Gardening subject was just the best," Ms Duke said.
"The content had strong foundation knowledge, the practical aspects allowed me to understand my garden better, and the assignments were straightforward.
"I had fun studying again and started to look at the subject options.
"I found so many areas of interest I could investigate; I couldn't not enrol. I was even trying to find more things to do while at work. Being a paramedic in a mostly quiet area requires some thought as to how to fill in the long hours, but also not too important that I can't be dropped immediately if needed."
Ms Duke said that during her civil engineering degree, she had particularly enjoyed environmental subjects and that the current climate issues made taking on the full diploma an easy decision.
Her full list of completed subjects was:
* Science of Gardening 1;
* Introduction to Sustainable Literacy;
* Complementary Medicines in Contemporary Society;
* Science of Gardening 2;
* Introduction to Sustainable Design for Houses;
* Local Lives for a Sustainable Planet;
* Humans: Earth Shapers;
"I was very pleased to have finished my studies in 2019, and pleasantly surprised to learn that I was dux of my graduating class!
"I was even informed that I was the best graduate they ever had, that I was in a class of my own," Ms Duke said. "The joke being that I was the first and only graduate of the Diploma for Sustainable Living from the University of Tasmania. I suppose this makes me the bottom of the class too.
"My studies into sustainability have been extremely useful in my home and I'm even working to implement more sustainable practices in my workplace.
"I greatly enjoyed studying online and this diploma gave me the confidence in my academic ability to undertake further study while I work.
"I have just started my Graduate Certificate in Healthcare in Remote and Extreme Environments - a bit different to last year but I'm confident I will be back for further study in the area of sustainability in the future."
For more information on University College's Diploma of Sustainable Living, visit here.
Pictured: Claire Duke in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park in Tasmania’s Central Highlands.