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Darcy Jackman smiling
It was a tough degree, but it has pushed me academically and I have grown in confidence, Darcy said.

To know that every year an Indigenous law student is going to get the Freilich Indigenous student Scholarship is incredible

I have just completed my JD degree and I’m insanely excited!” Darcy Jackman, ANU Juris Doctor Graduate and 2016 Freilich Indigenous Student Scholarship recipient, said before attending the December 2018 graduation ceremony last week.

“It was a tough degree, but it has pushed me academically and I have grown in confidence. The electives were really interesting and allowed me to expand my knowledge on all sorts of different issues.” Darcy continues, before she starts to recount her experience of how she came to study at ANU.

“After finishing my undergraduate degree in Global Studies in Sydney, I decided to apply to the ANU Juris Doctor, because I felt that pursuing postgraduate study in law would equip me with the skills and knowledge to pursue a career with which I could create positive social change.”

“My main motivation for choosing law as a degree, was my passion for social justice and giving back to my community,” Darcy who identifies as Aboriginal from Western New South Wales, explained.

Darcy said she applied to many universities including ANU, but it wasn’t until she visited the ANU campus and the ANU Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre, during Open Day 2015 that she made up her mind.

“I came to ANU on Open Day 2015, the year before I started and I went to the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre and met with Aunty Anne Martin and Uncle Asmi Wood.

“The Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre is probably one of the greatest things at ANU and as an Indigenous student I feel so lucky to have it”, Darcy stated and added, “Right from the beginning everyone I met was so supportive.” 

At the beginning of her studies, Darcy also became the recipient of the 2016 Freilich Indigenous Student Scholarship in Law, which aims at assisting people in the Indigenous Community to obtain a degree in Law, through offsetting some of the financial burden associated with University attendance during the first year of study.

“I was awarded the scholarship, just as I was about to commence my studies at ANU and it was an enormous help. I had just moved from Sydney to Canberra and at the time I did not have a job, and my parents were not able to support me. It was a really good way to start my journey and make the transition into studying law at ANU. I am really grateful to the foundations for supporting me and the other students,” Darcy elaborated. 

During her studies, the JD graduate, stayed at the Burgmann college and was actively involved in the campus life, taking on the role of Residential Advisor and that of Postgraduate Indigenous Officer in 2017 and 2018. 

“I was in the post grad village which was a really vibrant community of incredibly diverse people, law students, med students- it was a great experience!

“It has been great to take up a leadership position as a residential advisor and overall it has been really rewarding,” the JD graduate stated.

“The last 3 years have pushed me, but I feel that I have grown a lot and become more confident in myself and my capabilities. A lot of that has to do with getting involved with the community here, particularly with the ANU Postgraduate and Research Students Association (PASA)”, Darcy explained.

Having successfully completed the JD degree, Darcy accepted a Research associate job with the President of the Children’s Court in New South Wales.

“In addition to the other tasks associated with the role, I will also help with establishing a new youth court and hopefully expand that to the rest of NSW. I am over the moon excited about being able to help Indigenous children,” Darcy exclaimed.

When asked about her future plans, Darcy stated “Next year I would also like to continue my studies and complete the GDLP at ANU and make sure to get my practising certificate, which is very important to me. I have always been interested in law reform and really want to have an impact on Indigenous peoples and their relationship with the law”.

Updated:  24 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team