Kirsten Jongsma is a JD Online student and a human resources manager in Darwin.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO STUDY A JURIS DOCTOR?
I’ve had a lot of exposure to industrial relations law which is why I became interested in studying it myself. I did a Bachelor of Management, majoring in psychology, and a Masters in Human Resources Management, and I currently work in employee relations for an insurance company. In a previous job, I dealt a lot with the bussing industry’s industrial association where I took part in the four-yearly reviews of the relevant awards. That’s when I became very interested in industrial relations laws.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ANU COLLEGE OF LAW?
I began by researching the best universities to study law, and of course I needed to study by distance, so when I learned that ANU offered the JD online I knew that was the best opportunity for me.
hOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STUDY EXPERIENCE?
It’s intense of course juggling full-time work and study but it’s also really rewarding. I really enjoy the structure and the problem-based learning, I’ve found that has been good. And all the students are mature-aged students like me with a lot of life experience, so we’re all in it for similar purposes and have a similar attitude. It’s good to be working with people as keen as I am to be there.
I’ve built connections with the other students. We connect through the online forum and email and as we’ve gone through the semesters we’ve been getting to know each other.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ABLE TO STAY IN Darwin WHILE YOU STUDY?
Funnily enough my family are all in NSW and Canberra, but my work keeps me in Darwin. I came up for six months and I’ve been here for six years which is a pretty familiar story in Darwin. I also have a 40 acre block near Litchfield which is pretty special to me.
WHAT AREA OF LAW DO YOU HOPE TO PRACTISE?
As I said, employment law interests me. It’s a funny system and I think it’s probably skewed heavily one way so part of the reason I wanted to get into it is to try to be part of any changes that would help to balance the system.
I’m also starting to consider environmental law. I went hiking in Tasmania for two weeks and the stark contrast between the World Heritage area and the deforestation happening just outside of it made me wonder if environmental law would appeal to me.
Ultimately, it’s about being part of an organisation, being part of a cause.