It was such an honour to be recognised for my potential to become a lawyer.
The 2018 Phillipa Weeks Scholarship in Law for rural and regional students has been awarded to Elly McLean, who aspires to work in the International Court of Justice and one day go into politics.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to go into a career around performance and justice so I tossed up between acting or maybe going into politics,” she said.
Elly said it was her experience debating for the Model United Nations that began her on her journey to study law.
“It really opened my eyes to the fact that I’ve got a voice and I can use it,” she said.
“I decided to do Law rather than Political Science because I wanted the skills to work outside of politics as well and to gain a range of experiences as I move through my career.”
“I’m also doing International Relations. I speak Chinese and I want to combine that with a European language. It will give me the tools to step into the global market which will give me broader opportunities to enact change.”
Elly grew up in Hamilton in country Victoria where her family worked in the mining industry. They have now moved to Central Queensland, but rather than applying for universities close to her family, or even her friends who are mostly studying in Melbourne and Adelaide, Elly knew she wanted to come to The Australian National University.
“I’m the only one of my friends who came to ANU, but looking at a, the ranking and b, the opportunity for international experience, like the Global Programs, I thought there was no way I wanted to miss out on that.”
“And the employability for ANU graduates is through the roof. There was no reason not to come here.”
To make her dream a reality, Elly applied for dozens of scholarships, but she was thrilled to receive the Phillipa Weeks Scholarship in Law, because of its intention to assist rural and regional students in completing a LLB, and for the legacy of Professor Weeks, an ambitious student from country NSW who guided and inspired many ANU students and colleagues.
“It was such an honour to receive it and to be recognised for my potential to become a lawyer,” she said.
“I’m so blessed to be able to just arrive in Canberra and have the time to settle in rather than having to deal with the anxiety and the stress of not being able to afford to be here.”
“I just want to say thank you to the donors, for giving me the opportunity to come to ANU and to be in an environment that fosters everything that I’ve looked forward to in my life,” she said.
“I don’t know if I would be here to enjoy these opportunities if I hadn’t had these guardian angels supporting me. Especially in regards to the Phillipa Weeks Scholarship, it feels as though they saw something in me and that has motivated me to prove to them that I can live up to the legacy.”