ANU College of Law has held the inaugural Phillipa Weeks Scholarship morning tea to invite scholarship recipients and the family of the much loved ANU Law professor to celebrate her passion for education and mentorship.
Phillipa’s husband Ian Hancock, sister Alison Weeks and brother-in-law Peter Stubbs attended the morning tea along with six of the scholarship recipients.
Associate Professors Miriam Gani and Pauline Ridge – both former students of Phillipa’s – hosted the event and paid tribute to their colleague who died of cancer in 2006.
“As Head of School I think about Phillipa every week because that’s what she was doing when I was a junior academic here,” Miriam said.
Pauline said Phillipa had been a wonderful mentor both as her teacher and then as a colleague.
“How do you encapsulate the reasons why we still remember her with such affection?” she said.
“I think it was because she cared so deeply for other people. I remember as a student feeling loved and supported by her.
“And she was a trailblazer in terms of women academics.”
Each year the ANU College of Law awards the Phillipa Weeks Scholarship to one first-year LLB (Hons) student who has undertaken (at least) the final two years of their secondary schooling in a regional or remote area of Australia.
The scholarship is valued at $5000 per year for up to five years and has been awarded to nine students since its inception in 2008.
The 2009 recipient Lachlan James Smith has graduated and is working as an advisor to the federal minister and Member for Wannon, The Hon Dan Tehan, while the 2017 recipient, Christina Lee has just begun her first year at ANU Law after moving to Canberra from Cairns.
The 2016 recipient, Georgie Juszczyk, from Townsville in north Queensland, spent her gap year volunteering with Indigenous boarders at Kormilda College in Darwin, traveling to Arnhem Land and completing basic training with the Army Reserve.
“I honestly don’t think it’s possible to measure the true value the scholarship has and will make to my studies,” she said.
“It’s an honour and encouragement of immense proportions to receive a scholarship in the name of such an inspirational woman, and I hope I can demonstrate the same integrity, professionalism, compassion and strength of character that she did.”
ANU Law Dean Professor Stephen Bottomley said the Phillipa Weeks Scholarship was one among many initiatives from the College aimed at supporting students from rural and regional Australia.
“We are very proud to call ourselves Australia’s national law school, and it is a title we take very seriously,” he said.
Professor Bottomley commended the hard work and community spirit of the students from regional Australia.
“While regional Australians often have to fight for access to resources, that doesn’t mean there is a deficit of bright, hard-working and extremely dedicated young people in the bush.”