“Law was a childhood dream. Even at just 10-years-old, when asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, my response was that I want to be a High Court judge,” Jahmillah Johnson explained.
Jahmillah, the second recipient of the ANU Law Indigenous Practical Legal Training Scholarship for 2018, grew up between Queensland. She belongs to the traditional clan groups of the Kuku Yalanji peoples from Cape York, the Wiri People from the Birri Gubba nation in central Queensland, and the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples, also of central Queensland.
Jahmillah says: “I have always had a passion for social justice, and this passion has in part originated from growing up in north Queensland and Brisbane, where historically estranged relations between the European settlers and the Indigenous peoples has led to discrimination, unfair treatment and denial of access to justice.
“You need to be passionate to study law, because it involves years of just studying. You need to enjoy reading and trying to gather information to figure things out”.
Currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, Jahmillah continues to pave the road that will see her accomplishing her childhood dream.
“I am undertaking Professional Practice Core (PPC) at the moment, and it is very intense, but we work very collaboratively, which I think enhances the course.
“Prior to this degree, I didn’t know how to draft a business agreement or conduct a conveyance. Most importantly, I am looking forward to refining my business acumen, my negotiation skills and learning how to draft better.”
Irrefutably throughout the years, Jahmillah has proven her unwavering commitment to continuously growing her knowledge and skillset.
While studying a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Psychological Science, from Macquarie University, she gained paid work experience assisting two barristers through the NSW Bar Association’s Indigenous Barristers’ Trust.
Before coming to ANU, Jahmillah completed two internships in commercial law firms and gained experience working at the legal department of the Australian Government’s Department of Health in Canberra.
Having completed a home rotation at the government’s legal department, Jahmillah said she gravitated to ANU primarily because of its reputation.
“I chose ANU, because it is a great university.”
“It sounds cheesy, but ANU is a world class institution and you need to be aware of the calibre of people you study with, they are very smart people, very capable and hardworking people.”
After completing her studies at ANU Jahmillah stated that she would like to work as a solicitor.
“I would like to get some experience practising as a solicitor to decide what area I want to specialise in. At the moment, I am thinking Native Title Law and becoming a Native Title barrister”.