Five more questions before you graduate: Amelia Noble

Amelia Noble

Why did you decide to study law?

In high school I did a project on Vincent Lingiari and the Gurinjdi land rights campaign. This sparked an interest in learning more about how the law can be used to address inequality and the ongoing effects of colonisation.

What was the best thing about your time at ANU College of Law?

I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to study law at ANU. One of the best things has been the opportunity to be taught by academics who have encouraged me to think critically about the law and its role in delivering justice.

I am also very grateful for the opportunity to write an honours thesis under the supervision of Professor Tony Foley. My thesis examined why the absence of independent review for classification decisions poses a barrier to rehabilitation for Australian prisoners. Having the freedom to independently research a topic of my choice with Tony’s support and guidance was a very rewarding experience.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about studying law?

I would encourage anyone considering studying law to seek out opportunities to see how the law operates in the context of issues they care about. Being a student at ANU is an incredible opportunity, but it can sometimes feel like living in a bit of a bubble. American lawyer and author Bryan Stevenson talks about the importance of making oneself ‘proximate’ to people who are marginalised or experiencing injustice. For a student contemplating studying law because of an interest in justice, I would encourage you to seek out opportunities to become ‘proximate’ to the issues you care about. Doing this will open up many ideas and avenues, and complement your academic studies in a meaningful way.

How did winning a prize help you?

Studying Indigenous Australians and the Law under Associate Professor Asmi Wood was a turning point in my degree. Winning the Mick Dodson Prize for this course was a total surprise, and has had a big impact on the direction of my law studies. The prize enabled me to live in Darwin for three months and work full-time as a volunteer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA). While in Darwin, I was able to visit clients in prisons and youth detention centres, observe Bush Court in Wurrumiyanga (Tiwi Islands), and observe Youth Justice Court and several Community Legal Education sessions. This experience motivated me to partake in the ANU Indigenous Community Legal Clinic program in 2015, and also to participate in the IARU Global Summer Program at Yale University, where I researched how international law can be used to safeguard and preserve Indigenous cultural heritage.

What’s next?

I have been offered a graduate position at Gilbert + Tobin in Sydney. I have applied to undertake rotations in the Pro Bono and Litigation teams, and hope to return to the Northern Territory to work at some stage in the future.    

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team