By Cherish Tay (student ambassador)
For many interstate and rural students, choosing to study at The Australian National University (ANU) can be a big decision as they relocate away from friends and family.
But for Aidan Hookey, a third-year Bachelor of Laws (Hons)/Philosophy, Politics and Economics student, it’s a decision that has proven to be incredibly rewarding.
“It (Canberra) has that nice, small-town feel,” says Aidan, who is originally from Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
“I like that I can walk to uni or ride my bike in. I think we are really lucky to be able to do that.”
One of the factors that helped Aidan choose to study at ANU – more than 2,300 kilometres from home – was being awarded the Phillipa Weeks Scholarship in Law in 2019. Named in memory of late ANU Law scholar Professor Phillipa Weeks, the scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate law student from a regional or remote area.
“Receiving the scholarship was amazing and a huge honour. It is hard for people living in Alice Springs to leave secondary school and come to a city. It’s also very expensive, so I simply would not be here without the financial support,” says Aidan.
Aidan was also awarded the Charles Price Scholarship, to live at Burgmann College for his first two years at ANU. Burgmann is an on-campus residence home to around 350 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Charles Price Scholarship is awarded for academic merit and contributions to campus life.
Sport and exploring Canberra's surrounds provide Aidan valuable outlets away from his studies.
“Playing AFL at college and winning two premierships was awesome, so was coaching the girls' AFL team to a grand final. I also loved getting involved in the Inward Bound cross-country running competition. That really spurred me on to explore more of the national parks that Canberra has so close by.”
Over his three years at the ANU, Aidan has already gained a wealth of practical and research-oriented experience in the legal field.
Having previously clerked at Ruth Morley Legal Services in Alice Springs to develop his practical skills in the legal profession, he is now an assistant editor at JURIST, an international legal news and commentary website run by the University of Pittsburgh.
He is also currently working as a legal researcher at Blackburn Chambers.
As for his studies, Aidan pinpoints Legal Theory (LAWS2249) and Administrative Law (LAWS2201) as highlights in his degree so far.
“They are both great subjects. Legal Theory provides great perspective on how law operates, and Administrative Law is very practical; it is the basis of many other important topics, such as Environmental Law and Migration Law,” says Aidan
Looking to the future, Aidan would like to return to Alice Springs and, proving that a law degree doesn’t limit graduates to just the legal profession, is contemplating a career in journalism.