After completing a Diploma of Photo Imaging, Janelle Low went on to become the recipient of the 2013 National Photographic Portrait Prize.
The Diploma gave me the skills, the knowledge, and most importantly the introduction to industry, both in culture and in contacts that were absolutely crucial for my making a living off photography alone these past two years.
Just 22 at the time, Ms Low was the youngest winner and only the second woman to win the prize, considered the photographic equivalent of winning the Archibald Prize for portraiture.
Ms Low's winning image is of artist Yhonnie Scarce with her ailing 19-year-old cat, Indiana.
The prize of $25,000, which was presented to Ms Low by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, allowed Janelle to continue her work to develop and extend her practice.
Ms Low graduated from RMIT in 2010 and then has returned to teach at the University in a short course program that she developed.
She has worked with renowned photographer and RMIT Adjunct Professor Michael Coyne in his documentary workshops and taught as a sessional staff member in the Certificate IV in Photo Imaging program.
"I wouldn't be the photographer I am today if it weren't for the incredible dedication and passion the team at the Diploma of Photo Imaging have put into the course, and still do today," Ms Low said.
Ms Low said that winning the prize was a "life-changing opportunity".
"To have taken it out so young and so early in my photographic career is such an honour," she said.