Started Studying at UTAS in: 2011
Hobbies/Passions: Reading, volunteering and music
Degree: B. Arts/B. Law (honours)
Favourite subject: Administrative law
Dream Career: Barrister, public law
Role model: Stephen Gageler QC, Justice of High Court of Australia
Success in life: Now able to control and manage mental health
Success at Uni: High academic achievement
Challenges in life: Mental health and anxiety
Challenges at Uni: First person in extended family to attend uni
I commenced a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws in 2010. I'm 22 years old, and a sufferer of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Dysthymic Depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and as a result of a collection of complex family and personal factors, at the end of Grade 9, I left my private secondary school and was placed into Distance Education to help myself get back on track.
I then went back to a mainstream public college for Year 11 where I was aiming to get into a VET Business Course and complete a Certificate II in Business and work in an office for the rest of my life. Strangely, over the course of Years 11 and 12, I decided that I really enjoyed self-directed study and saw my mental and physical health improve. I ultimately completed my Tasmanian Certificate of Education and placed in the Top 100 students in Tasmania for my graduating year (2010) and applied for a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Laws at UTAS. I received my offer, and promptly burst into tears, where I knew that my heart was in international relations and political theory at the time, and changed my offer to a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws.
Since then, I've absolutely flourished at University. The environment, the people, and particularly the fantastic support of the law faculty (as well as the Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarship which I received in 2012) has meant that I've been able to undertake a *huge* range of experiences, from working with the Australian Law Students' Association, to editing the University of Tasmania Law Review, volunteering with the TUU for two years, to undertaking a wide range of research and volunteer work throughout the community, and I'm on track to graduate in December this year with First Class Honours. It's obviously been a fairly hard slog - every law degree is - but my unique background has meant that I've had some particular challenges which I've been equipped now to deal with through my academic and going forward into my professional life.
I'm the first person in my extended family to pursue tertiary education, and amongst an otherwise complex family background, that's made for some interesting experiences. Next year, I'm relocating to Sydney and working as the Associate to the Hon. Justice J M Jagot in the Federal Court of Australia for 12 months (effectively a Judge's designated 'off-sider' who does research work, drafting, review, administrative work in judges' chambers and sits in Court with them to ensure the efficient and effective administration of their Court proceedings), before commencing a position as a Graduate Solicitor with Clayton Utz - one of the largest law firms in Australia.
This is My Story...what's your story?