Phillipa’s story to me shows that you can be a fantastic, wonderful, and exceptional lawyer and be a fantastic, wonderful, and exceptional person at the same time.
The Phillipa Weeks Scholarship in Law has helped scores of Bachelor of Laws (Hons) students from rural and regional Australia discover their potential at The Australian National University (ANU) since it was established in honour of the namesake ANU College of Law scholar.
And when the University set the ambitious goal of raising $75,000 over 75 hours for ANU Giving Day 2021, donors answered the call to open their hearts - and wallets - to support the Phillipa Weeks Scholarship. In total, a staggering $122,710 was raised by the University, with $11,286 for the Philippa Weeks Scholarship in Law from more than 30 donations -- the most among all College-level scholarship funds.
In the lead up to ANU Giving Day, past and present recipients of the Phillipa Weeks Scholarship in Law gathered to discuss the value of the fund and the impact it has made in their lives.
In a panel discussion moderated by current final-year Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hons) student Christina Lee (2017 recipient), Aidan Hookey (2019 recipient; BPolPhEc/LLB (Hons)), Georgie Juszcyk (2016 recipient; BIntSecSt/LLB (Hons) '20), and Molly Campbell (2014 recipient; BMus '16, LLB (Hons) '17, MLegPrac/GDLP '18) all shared how the scholarship had changed their lives.
“One of the biggest things the scholarship gave me was time,” said Georgie.
“It gave me the capacity to access the best things that ANU has to offer, like volunteering for student groups, legal research projects, or spending extra time going down rabbit holes of fascinating cases and immersing myself in them and discussing them with my lecturers because I wasn’t worried about having to run to go to work once my classes were finished,” she added.
The session also highlighted the importance of Professor Weeks' legacy to our recipients and the ANU College of Law.
“Phillipa’s story to me shows that you can be a fantastic, wonderful, and exceptional lawyer and be a fantastic, wonderful, and exceptional person at the same time,” said Molly.
“It’s so important to be a good person and a good colleague at the same time. To take time to listen to people, to write them notes of encouragement, which is something that Phillipa was fondly known for. It’s something that I try to do now, especially to junior lawyers at our firm.”
“I try to be as nice and encouraging to them and take the time to listen to their stories or what they’re struggling with and have conversations with them,” she continued.
The discussion also saw some insights from the panellists about what they would like to see out of the scholarship in the future.
Aidan remarked how it was a truly unique scholarship that provides support to students from rural and regional backgrounds, a number of whom might be thinking of going back to their hometowns after graduating and contributing to the community.
“Rural law is such a vital growth area that it’s so important that we have some of the best and brightest minds going back and giving back to the community,” he said.
The Phillipa Weeks Scholarship in Law was established to pay tribute to Professor Weeks, who attended school in regional NSW before she was awarded a scholarship to study law at ANU. The scholarship gives this same opportunity to students in rural and regional areas of Australia.
Interested in helping future Phillipa Weeks Scholarship in Law recipients? Learn how you can contribute here.