Having grown up in a small rural town north of Wagga, Brooke Smith became passionate about dedicating her studies to offering medical assistance to those in these often-forgotten communities.
The 23-year-old Barraba local graduated from CSU on Wednesday with a Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science and has always been drawn to the health industry.
“I’ve always been really interested in the idea of helping people,” she said. “Coming from a rural area I’ve seen the lack of health professionals in those regions and I want to be able to give back to those communities.”
Despite her desire to study, Ms Smith admitted leaving her family and friends in Barraba, a nine-hour drive from Wagga, was a challenge.
"I didn't want to come at first," she said. "During my degree I only really went home during the holidays, so I missed my friends and family a lot.
"But I've really loved my time in Wagga. It has a great country-town sense of community, but it's big enough to have everything you need."
Ms Smith’s family attended the graduation ceremony, with her mother, Kerrie Smith, acknowledging that while the time away from her daughter was difficult, they were thrilled with her efforts.
"The distance was hard, but she was happy down here, so that made it much easier for us,” she said. “This is such an exciting start to her life and we’re so proud.”
Ms Smith has a job lined up at a hospital in Tamworth, which will, much to her mothers delight, take her back closer to home.