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Graduate thrived on creativity, challenge of literature study

Kendell praises staff of Shoalhaven Campus for their support, friendship

Kendell Mount admits she had never been an avid reader.

But when she came to University of Wollongong’s Shoalhaven Campus, she discovered the joy of books, which opened up the world and encouraged her to study English literature.

“I always loved creating and writing, but I honestly was not a big reader until I got to university,” said Kendell, who today graduated from UOW Shoalhaven with a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature).

“I completed a Diploma of Media and Communications, and came to Shoalhaven to study sociology, but I realised that it wasn’t my thing, so I changed to major in literature. I realised that was an avenue I could take to capture my creativity.”

It is clear that Kendell’s change of heart has truly captured her passion. She is quiet and reserved, but visibly lights up when the topic turns to her favourite books. She is happy to recommend books and chat freely about her favourite series and authors.

“I love that with literature, you can create something that leaves a lasting impact on the world,” said Kendell, who is now undertaking her Honours research, focusing on the book, American Gods.

In her time at UOW Shoalhaven, Kendell, who is in a wheelchair, has had an impact on those around her.

UOW Shoalhaven Campus Manager Teresa Bourke said Kendell’s kindness, resilience, and generosity have made her a valuable part of the campus community.

And it seems Kendell, who relies on taxis to reach campus every day from her home in Falls Creek, has relished being part of the small campus as much as they have liked having her there.

“Through having that close community feel, it lessened the anxiety that I felt, especially when I first arrived, of entering a new and daunting situation where I didn’t know anyone,” she said.

“That is terrifying as it is, but for me, being in a wheelchair only magnifies that anxiety, so to have everyone be so warm and accommodating while having a tremendous amount of patience was amazing.

“One of the major challenges I have faced is to do with catching a taxi to and from University. As I need to use a wheelchair accessible taxi, this means that I often have to wait, but the receptionists at Shoalhaven have always waited with me, made sure I was okay, and have always talked to and joked with me.”

Kendell said she will always be grateful for the support she has received during her time at Shoalhaven and said the staff and teachers have made her experience enjoyable and enriching.

“The feel and attitude of this campus has really had an impact on me. The staff at Shoalhaven are genuinely nice people who do want the best for you and will do anything to make that happen.

“I love being at UOW Shoalhaven and I’m so glad I chose to study here.”

After finishing her Honours, Kendell is aiming to study a Masters degree in literature or non-fiction.   

Posted in Arts and Culture
Tagged: graduation, Arts