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Date published: 13 March 2012

Even when she was travelling the world involved in extreme sports event management, she always had a sketch book close to hand.

After working in 13 countries and living in nine, Murgon's Lee Porter retired to the South Burnett to pursue an artistic career.

Earlier this month, Ms Porter reached a milestone she had been pursuing for three years when she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in fine art from Curtin University in Perth.

Ms Porter said travelling to Western Australia and receiving her graduation certificate brought a conclusion to her three years of online study through Open Universities.

"I was forever sketching in every country I went to and studying art was something I'd always wanted to do", she said.

"Last time I was at a graduation ceremony it was boring, but this one was phenomenal and great closure. There were 2000 people there in a big open theatre and I was the only Open Universities student there."

With her bachelor degree done and dusted, Ms Porter said she was considering throwing herself back into the fray and beginning a masters degree in curatorial and museum studies.

She also had her fingers crossed for one of two annual fellowships she has applied for through the Australian Arts Council.

Ms Porter also said she had a vision for the South Burnett's artistic community. "I want to find artistic work in the shire," she said.

"The South Burnett has a wonderful wealth of artists and a great country culture."

"There is no reason the region couldn't become a tourist destination for its wine and art."

"The region's art galleries should be working together."

Ms Porter also hoped her achievement would provide an example for other people who were considering a change in life direction.

"Anybody can go back to studying at any age, because if you have the will, there is a way", she said.

"It has been a big commitment but the government offers fee help and it is important people don't ever lost their dreams."

Date: 24 February 2012
Publication: South Burnett Times (Kingaroy, QLD)
Title: Lee has distance uni study down to an art