Kerry-Lynn Dixon, like more than 500 other graduates, received her degree at Charles Darwin University’s mid-year graduation ceremonies last week.
And while the event marked an extraordinary achievement for all graduates, it held a special significance for the 43-year-old woman.
The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Teaching and Learning graduate cycled a jaw-dropping 3850km from Geelong to Darwin to receive her degree.
Ms Dixon said her decision to undertake such a challenging task was “logical”.
“I was consumed with how I could make my graduation one of the most significant moments of my life,” she said.
“Catching a plane to Darwin just didn't do it for me. It had to be bigger, much bigger.”
As an enthusiastic cyclist, Ms Dixon said she couldn’t think of a better way to get to her graduation night than by pedal power.
And while the 29-day journey had its share of bumps, bruises and falls, Ms Dixon said she regarded the trek as a “true once in a lifetime experience”.
Graduation night was made even more special with Ms Dixon’s mother, Rita, and her sister, Claire, taking a more conventional route from Geelong to surprise her.
Ms Dixon said that another driving factor for her ride was to raise awareness about the importance of education for everyone, regardless of age or circumstance.
“I want young students in schools to realise the importance of studying hard, aiming high and achieving their goals, all as a way of preparing for life beyond school,” she said.
“I believe it so much that I'm willing to cycle nearly 4000 km to pick up my degree, which essentially is only a piece of paper, but a piece of paper that represents so much.”