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Scholarship Recipient #3: Kimberlee Brooker

Scholarship Recipient #3: Kimberlee Brooker

Our second scholarship recipient is Kimberlee Brooker from the South Coast of NSW. Kimberlee is studying a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Wollongong.

What is your visual condition and how has it affected you?
I lost my sight suddenly over night at the age of five. I was
diagnosed three months later with Rod Cone Dystrophy. The doctors
still cannot provide an explanation of why this occurred. I have no
sight at all, and I rely on my guide dog Toffee, who I received 2 and
a half years ago after I completed the HSC, to travel independently,
especially to and around university. To complete my studies as well as
participate in regular work experience I use Jaws and a braille note.

 What led you to pursue studies in law?
When I was younger I always thought that I wanted to work with
animals; however, after watching crime shows on TV, I decided that I
wanted to study law and so I chose my Year 11 and 12 electives around
this. In Year 11 and 12 I was lucky enough to do work experience with
former Wollongong District Court Judge Paul Conlon where I sat on two
trials and also heard short matters including sentencing and bail
applications. This confirmed my aspiration to study law and practice
as a solicitor. Fortunately, I received early entry into a Bachelor’s
of Laws at the University of Wollongong.

What have been the highs and lows of studying with a vision impairment?
I face challenges every day in studying law. There is a huge volume of
work to be completed . I require all the texts and materials to
be converted into an accessible format so I am able to read them on my
laptop with Jaws, and sometimes this takes a fair amount of time so
it is quite difficult for me to stay on top of the workload. However,
I find the degree extremely interesting, and very rewarding as I am
sitting on a distinction average.

What to you hope to achieve when you finish your studies?
I want to practice as a solicitor after completing my degree. After
doing work experience with Judge Conlon, I thought I wanted to
specialise as a criminal law solicitor; however, I am currently doing
work experience one day a week at a firm in Berry which do a variety
of areas of law, so now I am interested in practicing in a variety of
areas including criminal law, family law and wills and estates.
Because of my love for animals, I also plan on providing pro bono
services to the RSPCA, and my dream job would be to be as a prosecutor
for the RSPCA.

Thank you for sharing Kimberlee and demonstrating that despite barriers, a person who is blind can achieve their goals!

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