Humans of ANU Law: Andrew Henderson
Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson is a PhD candidate at ANU College of Law

1. Tell us a bit about yourself including what brought you to ANU.

I’m a PhD candidate at the College researching the effect of legal education on law students. But many students might have run into me as a tutor in courses like property, commcon, APL or even Dr Heather Roberts’ fantastic course on comparative courts.

2. What do you enjoy most about the ANU College of Law?

The willingness of staff and students to ‘think big’. I’m always amazed and inspired by staff and students at the College who think outside the box in their research or even in their approach to assignments.

3. What is your favourite spot on campus?

The beer garden at University House. I’m from Western Australia, and beer gardens are everywhere, but they are an unusual thing in Canberra. Sitting outside on warmer days, enjoying a drink or a coffee is a wonderful thing.

4. How do you relax away from university?

I’m a (very bad) gamer—usually online FPS. But my skill level would probably be best described as mostly ‘spawn, die, repeat’. I am currently (re)wandering the wastelands in Fallout 4.

5. How would you describe Canberra in three words?

Can I have a three-word sentence? – Big country town.

6. What inspired you to pursue law?

My role now is kind of my fourth career. I didn’t really want to be a lawyer when I went to university. I wanted to be a school teacher. But I started to enjoy advocacy particularly. As time went on, I also started to enjoy developing legal policy and went to work for the Commonwealth government. A few years ago, I got the chance to retrain and work as a school teacher. I enjoyed it but found that it was just as demanding as legal practice. My current role gave me the opportunity to work in a mix of the two – teaching law – and although it was still demanding, I found that I loved it.

7. What was your dream job as a child?

I grew up watching westerns and spy movies – I wanted to be a cowboy or a spy. I know now it isn’t that glamorous. But I do still really like vodka martinis.

8. If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be?

John Curtin. I enjoy Australian political history. There is something about the dedication and selflessness of Curtin that I would like to understand more about.

9. Who’s your favourite fictional character?

Judge Dredd from 2000AD comics. For a lawyer, the Dredd stories are even more fascinating from the perspective of how the law ends up the way it does in the world Dredd inhabits, and how that conflicts with his own personal morals.

10. What’s a project or hobby you’re currently working on that motivates you?

I’m a PhD student, dad and a tutor. Hobby? What’s that?

11. What’s your favourite quote?

'Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.' From Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards!

12. What’s the secret to studying and working from home successfully?

If someone could tell me, I’d be ever so grateful.

13. Who is someone you look up to?

Anyone who is prepared to stand up for the rights of others

14. What was the last book you read?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I am a child of the 1980s so all of the kitsch 1980s references to TV shows, video games and cartoons makes me feel very nostalgic.

15. What’s an underrated movie?

My guilty pleasure is re-watching the 2012 version of Dredd. It captures the world so well and who doesn’t love Lena Headey playing the villain? I mean, you all loved to hate her as Cersei.

16. What’s your favourite dish?

Channa dhal. I am hopeless at making it myself but love it when someone makes it really well.

17. What’s your favourite place in Canberra to visit?

At the moment, anywhere I am allowed to go outside and sit for more than 10 minutes

18. What’s your favourite song or playlist to work to?

On high rotation at my place during the day is Spotify’s Lush Lofi playlist.

19. What’s a skill you’d like to learn?

Before other things consumed my time, I used to be involved with the Canberra Roller Derby League. It made me want to learn how to roller skate. But I injured myself and had to take time off skates. Unfortunately, I never got back on. It’s something that I still desperately want to learn how to do well.

20. What advice would you give to others feeling uneasy during this time?

As much as trying to be productive while at home is frustrating, re-establishing connections with family has been a precious gift. It’s something we very rarely set aside time to do intentionally. Reflecting on that opportunity makes me think that there may at least be one good thing to come out of this challenging time.

See more Humans of ANU Law here

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