A future in research and law reform drives Cherish Tay

Cherish Tay
Cherish Tay is a New Colombo Plan scholar who plans to research the intersection of law and LGBTQI+ communities in Taiwan and Mongolia.

The way that a law degree at ANU is structured really allows you to observe how society works and how it is governed, and what sort of systems regulate it.

By Aidan Hookey, ANU College of Law Student Ambassador

For 2020 New Colombo Plan scholar Cherish Tay, law reform research has been a passion throughout her Bachelor of Asian Studies/Laws (Honours) degrees.

After coming to The Australian National University (ANU) from Sydney in 2017, she quickly became involved in a number of extracurricular law reform programs. This included coordinating a public lecture series on Australia’s refugee detention system, with appearances from prominent legal minds such as Julian Burnside QC and George Newhouse.

In addition, she ran legal education workshops on behalf of the AIDS Action Council for people living with HIV. She has also worked as a paralegal at the Youth Law Centre and has been a student contributor to the Law Reform and Social Justice Research Hub, examining the efficacy of proposed reform to Australia’s political donation system. 

Cherish says that her law degree has provided her with a great foundation for pursuing these interests.

“The way that a law degree at ANU is structured really allows you to observe how society works and how it is governed, and what sort of systems regulate it. And that is really interesting to me,” she says.

She also notes that the extra programs the College runs also provide great support.

“These include Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) or the mentoring programs. They are really useful,” she adds.

Cherish’s passion for her law degree and her many extra-curricular pursuits was rewarded in 2020 when she was named one of seven ANU recipients of New Colombo Plan scholarship.

The Federal Government initiative was launched in 2014 by then-Foreign Minister and current ANU Chancellor, The Hon Julie Bishop. It supports students to travel and study in the Indo-Pacific region.

Using the scholarship, Cherish hopes that she can eventually travel to Taiwan and Mongolia to undertake research. 

“I’m quite interested in legal theory and applying that in comparative legal contexts,” she says.

“The project that I am planning to do looks at LGBTIQ+ groups in Taiwan and Mongolia. It explores how those legal systems respond to minorities.”

As for tips on coming to Canberra, Cherish suggests that having success is about “following your interests, coming in with open mind, and trying to meet as many people as you can”. 


Learn more about the international study opportunities offered to ANU College of Law students here.

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