It was a time for celebration on Wednesday as 64 students graduated from Charles Sturt University Dubbo.
Among them was Dubbo resident Lynn Field who completed a Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare).
Ms Field spent three years studying and now hopes to work in mediation and counselling full-time.
"I got sick of people thinking I was an idiot because I had a smart mouth and didn't follow the rules. I thought if I had the bit of paper people might take me seriously," she said.
Ms Field said she believed the courts were an "adversarial form of dispute resolution" but she was passionate about finding a solution to illegal drug use and domestic violence.
"Drugs are still affecting everyone, domestic violence is still affecting everyone. If we can stop all that shit we can make the world a better place," she said.
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Ms Field said she was motivated along the way by her family, including her husband.
"There was a couple of times I wanted to say 'nope, I can't do it' and he'd say 'really, you're going to let them win?'."
Graduation day was extra special for Priscilla Strasek, who completed a Bachelor of Educational Studies with a distinction. She graduated alongside her cousin Sophia Brown who undertook the same degree.
They completed the course in six years via distance education.
Ms Strasek works for the Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay/Yuawaalayaay Language and Culture Nest and NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group in Lightning Ridge.
"I enjoyed learning, it's realty great for my work. And I enjoyed meeting new people and just experiencing university education," she said.
Ms Strasek said she was going to take what she had learnt from the degree back to her community.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) Jenny Roberts said the university warmly congratulated the graduating students and wished them all the best as they prepared to use their knowledge and skills to make positive impacts in their future endeavours.