Isobella Rafty is the 2016 recipient of the Indigenous Students Practical Legal Training (PLT) Scholarship. After graduating with her LLB (Hons) from the University of Queensland, she has undertaken her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice this year at The Australian National University.
Associate Professor Tony Foley, who chairs the ANU College of Law’s Indigenous Students PLT Scholarship Committee, said, “Ms Rafty is a most worthy recipient. She is a proud Koori woman of the Biripi people and is currently Associate to His Honour Judge Everson of the Queensland District Court”.
The scholarship provides a waiver of fees and is awarded to help an Indigenous Australian law graduate to complete their practical legal education requirement through the ANU School of Legal Practice.
Even as a young child, Isobella wanted to help people and “to do something that made a difference.” Growing up in a single parent household gave her a perspective on life that made her want to study law, after completing high school.
“My motivations for becoming an admitted lawyer have not changed much since then,” she said. She remains grateful to her mentors and those who encouraged her along the way: “I have had so many people who have believed in me, guided me, and given me opportunities that I truly treasure.”
“Having such amazing mentors, I feel a strong sense of duty to help others who are in some way disadvantaged. Becoming a lawyer gives me a wonderful platform to do just that. This award is such a fantastic opportunity for Indigenous law graduates and I am an entirely grateful recipient,” she said.
As for plans for the future, Isobella has been applying for legal positions in both the government and private sectors. Her specific interests lie in the protection of human rights, international trade and foreign aid. “I would like to work in a team environment for a good cause,” she said.