Navigator College alumni and first year university student Ayla Liebenberg has been awarded a 2019 UniSA Regional Journalism Scholarship and says her passion for writing began about four years ago.
After taking a gap year in 2018, the 20-year-old is studying a four year double-degree in journalism/professional writing and creative writing.
Miss Liebenberg said despite writing an essay about herself and why she deserved the scholarship, she had applied for other scholarships and was shocked when she got the email confirming she had won.
"It's quite surreal and fantastic to be recognised," she said.
"I remember reading the email for the first time in my room at college and I thought it was wrong.
"I thought I wasn't reading it correctly or I had to have another interview...I didn't believe it."
The recipients of the Australian government scholarship receive up to $40,000 during their degree and must provide yearly written progress reports and act as an ambassador for the scholarship.
It aims to assist students from regional locations to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to operate effectively as a journalist and be job-ready at the completion of their studies.
She said she had always been interested in english and reading throughout her high schooling years before about four years ago she decided she wanted to study journalism.
"I considered law but I settled on journalism because of the freedom it allows and I want to go into social and political writing," she said.
"I'm really enjoying my course, we just studied print and with my minimal knowledge in radio I think i'm interested in them both."
Before her class looked into court reporting Miss Liebenberg said she had not considered it but it could be an option as it combined her interests in both law and journalism.