Dr Imogen Saunders is a senior lecturer at ANU College of Law.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself including what brought you to ANU.
In what is quite a common story, I came to ANU to do a PhD and never left. I’m originally from Perth, and the plan was we (at that point, just my husband and I) would come here for three years and then go back home. Thirteen years and two children later, we have deviated somewhat from the original plan.
2. What do you enjoy most about working at the ANU College of Law?
The people, first and foremost. And the opportunities to work on exciting projects with terrific colleagues – both at ANU and at other institutions.
3. What is your favourite spot on campus?
It’s a tie between the Art & Music Library and the stepping stones across Sullivans Creek
4. How do you relax away from university?
I cook a lot. I also knit and try to garden – anything that gives tangible results is good. I like story-driven TV shows – Buffy (1997-2003) is a perennial favourite, I loved The Good Place (2016-present), and I’m currently really enjoying Picard (2020) (that may just be the Star Trek tragic in me coming out though). I do love to read, but since having kids I don’t read nearly as much as I would like to.
5. How would you describe Canberra in three words?
Big country town
6. What inspired you to pursue academia?
I started my PhD as an alternative to legal practice (18 months in litigation was more than enough), and then I took on sessional teaching while doing it. Happily, I discovered I loved both the research and the teaching.
7. What was your dream job as a child?
I wanted to be a writer
8. If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be?
Laura Ingalls Wilder
9. Who’s your favourite fictional character?
Phryne Fisher, with honorable mentions to Jo March and Granny Weatherwax
10. What’s a project or hobby you’re currently working on that motivates you?
I’m writing about Sarah Wambaugh, who was an American international lawyer in the 1920s: one of vanishingly few women in the field at the time. I went to Harvard and read through her archived papers last year. She was fascinating, strong-willed, acerbic, and very funny. It’s a joy discovering her and her work.
11. What’s your favourite quote?
Pretty much the whole of "Waiting for the Great Leap Forward" by Billy Bragg
12. What’s the secret to working from home successfully?
Ask me in a few months’ time! I certainly haven’t found it yet.
13. Who is someone you look up to?
14. What was the last book you read?
The White Earth by Andrew McGahan.
15. What’s an underrated movie?
The MTV recording of Legally Blonde: The Musical (2007).
16. What’s your favourite dish?
Way too many to have just one favourite. Though I will do almost anything for a good cup of tea first thing in the morning.
17. What’s your favourite place in Canberra to visit?
Nil Desperandum – a homestead in Tidbinbilla that you can rent and stay (camp) overnight in
18. What’s your favourite song or playlist to work to?
Nothing – I can’t work to music
19. What’s a skill you’d like to learn?
I’m currently getting re-acquainted with my violin after a 20 year break. I’d like that to be going a bit better.
20. What advice would you give to others feeling uneasy during this time?
It’s normal? I guess that there is no right or wrong way to feel – this is something none of us have ever experienced before, and the only way we’ll get through it is to just keep living each day as it comes.
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