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New Rhodes Scholar is dedicated to tackling environmental challenges


There’s never a dull moment for Arts-Law graduate Samantha Climie, who is Tasmania’s 2023 Rhodes Scholar.

Sam will study at the University of Oxford in the UK next year, undertaking a Masters in Environmental Change and Management. She is soon to graduate from the University of Tasmania with First Class Honours in Law, with her double degree also including a major in International Relations and minor in Japanese.

“I am so honoured and grateful for this. It’s amazing,” she said.

“Studying at Oxford and being surrounded by experts in the field will be incredible. I’m really excited and grateful to have the opportunity to learn from such an inspiring group of people in a world-class setting.”

Sam hopes to combine her passion for the law and her operational leadership experience to help drive change that will make a difference as the world responds to climate change.

Life will be busy before she leaves for Oxford. Sam is a qualified watercraft operator with the Australian Antarctic Division and leaves next week to sail south as Deputy Voyage Leader on the Aiviq, an American icebreaker leaving from Hobart to resupply and refuel Davis Station.

Sam grew up in Hobart and attended the Friends’ School. In 2019 she was awarded the Department of Foreign Affairs New Colombo Plan Scholarship, which provided 15 months of study and work in Japan. While in Japan, Sam studied foreign relations and Japanese language, interned at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and discovered her love for trail running. She immersed herself in the language and culture and passed the international ‘business level’ Japanese language test.

A dedicated volunteer

Sam studies at the University of Tasmania on a Dean’s Merit Scholarship. In recent years she has also received the WA Finlay Prize in Law, the Alan Davidson Memorial Law Prize, and the Justices Association Prize. In her free time she works as a bushwalking guide and enjoys trail running, mountain biking, swimming, and sailing

Through her volunteering work Sam endeavours to help the environment and support refugees. She is President of University's Student Environment and Animal Law Society, has undertaken legal research for various environmental charities, and in 2021 helped draft the University of Tasmania’s submission to Tasmania’s climate change amendment bill. She is currently a Director and Secretary on the Tasmania Refugee Legal Service Board and has also volunteered with Red Cross, through their Migrant Support Program, and Refugee Voices Japan, which involved providing private English and Japanese lessons to refugees and visiting refugees in the Tokyo Detention Centre.

Two other University of Tasmania students, Eve Poland (Chemistry) and Fletcher Clarke (Law/Economics), who were also finalists in the Tasmanian Rhodes Scholarship selection process, will be interviewed for the Australia-at-Large Rhodes Scholarships in November 2022.

About the Rhodes ScholarshipThe Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international scholarship program in the world. It aims to nurture public-spirited leaders for the future and is open to students from all disciplines. Each year, nine Scholarships are available in Australia. Successful candidates are chosen on the basis of exceptional intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service. For further information on the Rhodes Scholarship in Tasmania, contact Professor Nicholas Farrelly at:

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