I was accepted into ACU through the Early Achievers Program in 2012, however I chose to defer my acceptance to take a gap year. I completed two consecutive volunteer placements during my gap year. I worked overseas as a volunteer English teacher in Fiji for seven months, and then in northern India for five months. This was an incredibly rewarding experience which allowed me to work with people of different genders, ages, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, often in very challenging circumstances.
There is never a moment when I do not look forward to coming to university! Whether it be social, academic or personal - ACU has provided me with copious opportunities. From travelling to Sydney to compete in an intervarsity Moot, to being mentored by a Chief Justice of the Magistrates Court, or the Law Students' Society Law Ball - I have had countless unforgettable experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.
There were many factors which influenced my decision to come to ACU, however, the most appealing was the size of the cohort. I came from a small high school, and I knew that I didn't want to be an anonymous number when I went to university. At ACU there are no more than 100 students in any of my subjects, which creates a very personable learning experience. I love that I know all of the students in my cohort by name, and that my lecturers are able to create a one on one learning environment. It means that I feel extremely supported, and that I'm able to learn to the best of my ability.
We are very fortunate with the lecturers and tutors we have at ACU Law. All of my lecturers have been legal practitioners in the jurisdiction they teach. This has meant that I have been able to learn criminal law from a Criminal QC or Property Law from a Commercial Barrister. As a result, my lecturers are able to provide unique insight and practical knowledge into the subjects they teach. It's incredible to have a lecturer say that they acted on a case which we are studying! Alongside that, my lecturers have been incredibly supportive. They are always willing to sit down with me to help with an assignment or volunteer their time to develop my understanding of the law.
ACU has helped me complete a diverse range of Pro Bono experiences! My professional experience has predominantly involved supporting vulnerable persons within our community. For the past two years I have worked as a paralegal at the Eastern Community Legal Centre. In this role I have worked in the Family Violence Division of the Ringwood Magistrates Court, and completed casework in a variety of legal areas. In 2015, I also commenced a Civil Justice and Equity internship at Victoria Legal Aid, which involved casework for clients who had had their visas mandatorily cancelled. Both positions involved a diverse range of legal duties including research, preparation of documents and liaison with clients, colleagues, other legal parties and government agencies. This year I also began work at the Women’s Legal Service as a Legal Day Volunteer. In this position, I work in Family Law, Family Violence and Child Protection, in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, Federal Circuit Court, Family Court and Children’s Court.
As part of my Global Studies degree, last year I traveled to London to complete a three month internship with Children and Families Across Borders, the UK branch of the International Social Service. I supported the Social Work team by managing international child protection cases. I also conducted a series of research projects on behalf of CFAB, including research on international child protection legislation, ascertaining and analysing data from our partners, and updating the organisation’s intercountry database.
I have always known that I wished to pursue a career in legal advocacy. My experience representing ACU at the VU Kirby Contract Law Moot and the Baker & McKenzie Women's Moot has affirmed that this is a career path I wish to pursue! I hope to work in Criminal Law or Human Rights Law. I love working with people and believe that everyone deserves equal access to the legal system regardless of the circumstances of their case!