Bendigo law student Tayla Anderson has been awarded the Law Council of Australia’s 2017 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship.
The John Koowarta Scholarship is the only national scholarship dedicated to helping Indigenous students realise their ambitions of becoming lawyers. It was created 23 years ago and honours Aboriginal land rights pioneer John Koowarta, a Winychanam Elder from the Archer River region around Cape York.
Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC, today said Tayla Anderson was an outstanding student with both compassion and drive.
“Whether helping younger students with the transition to secondary school, or coaching them at the local football and netball club, Tayla has been a positive role model in Swan Hill, Victoria – where she’s excelled academically,” Ms McLeod said.
“Her undeniable desire to help people and keen interest in the Australian legal system inspired her to study Law at La Trobe University in Bendigo.
“We have no doubt that she will be an outstanding lawyer, no matter what area of law she practices in the future.”
Ms Anderson is in the final stages of a five-year Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Psychological Science combined degree.
On top of her study load, she has also worked for law firms Robertson Hyetts Solicitors in Bendigo, and Garden and Green Lawyers in Swan Hill.
Ms Anderson said she was driven by her strong belief in the over-representation of Indigenous Australians in the justice system, and the inequality that Indigenous Australians face.
“This inequality frustrates me, but it also provides me with reason to pursue the career that I have chosen, to be good enough at what I do, and to make a difference to those who need it,” Ms Anderson said.