Isabelle Reinecke (LLB (Hons) ’11, BSc (Psych) ’12) has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship, to be taken up in 2017. This is not the only positive change that the new year will bring for Isabelle.
She loved her work as Director of Legal and Governance at GetUp where she has worked for the past three years. She loved the fast pace, the variety and her young, creative, entrepreneurial colleagues. It was exciting and fulfilling.
Isabelle can anticipate an even more fulfilling role next year when she becomes Executive Director at Grata, the not-for-profit organisation providing a public interest litigation fund. The organisation aims to help people suffering from poverty, illness or distress by alleviating the injustices causing these factors, providing them with access to justice and promoting law reform.
Isabelle’s Churchill Fellowship will enable her to travel to the UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Hungary, as well as Canada and the US in order to learn from models in those counties that enable people to create systemic changes through the courts.
“I am keen to travel overseas and investigate different justice models, such as how crowd-funding can be used to allow people to create systemic changes through the courts,” said Isabelle.
“We are already seeing these methods in action in significant cases, such as the recent marriage equality decision from the US Supreme Court and the Hague’s 2015 climate change decision.”
Building on the work she has already done, for example, as Director of Legal and Governance at GetUp and as Legal Advisor at TEDx Sydney, Isabelle said that “the Churchill Fellowship will help me to take things to the next level.”
While studying at the ANU College of Law Isabelle had some wonderful and inspiring mentors, such as Kim Rubenstein, Professor and Director of the Centre for International and Public Law at the ANU College of Law and Professor George Williams AO, who is now at the UNSW Faculty of Law. She also recalls learning much from James Stellios and Don Anton. Wayne Morgan was also “an amazing and inspiring teacher,” she said.
Asked about any advice she could give to current students at the ANU College of Law about negotiating the world of work after graduating, Isabelle conceded that people have to find their own path. However she believes that it is worth taking risks with your career.
Isabelle initially gained employment at the firm Clayton Utz, specialising in intellectual property and competition law. This period of stable employment gave her a useful perspective and showed her something about how organisations work.
When she moved out of corporate law and into more entrepreneurial roles at smaller places that knowledge stood her in good stead.
Isabelle’s Churchill Fellowship should prove as stimulating as her work to date and the lessons learnt overseas will inform her work at Grata, helping Australians achieve justice, no matter what their financial status.