Getting bilateral cochlear implants has helped Sue Young achieve her dream of getting a university degree.
Ms Young - the 22nd Australian to get bilateral implants - started having hearing difficulties when she was five years old and had profound hearing loss by 18.
It affected her schooling, and she thought for many years that a university degree was beyond her reach.
But, thanks to a cochlear implant eight years ago, and the second six years ago, the 51-year-old Shellharbour mum was able to complete not one but two degrees from the University of Wollongong.
She followed up a bachelor's degree in population health with a master's in health management and leadership, which she graduated in with distinction at a ceremony on Thursday evening.
"It felt fantastic to receive the degree," she said. "Going to university had always been a dream for me but I never thought I'd realise it and now I have."
The qualifications have helped the mother of three get into a career in community services, and have given her confidence.
The implants have also given Ms Young delight in simple pleasures, like clearly hearing the voices and laughter of her children.