Through the eyes of the ANU Law Students’ Society President

Suchara Fernado
Suchara maintains that it is important to aim for excellence, but it is equally important to focus on progress and enjoy the process of achieving one's goals.

Being involved in the LSS and all of the opportunities available at ANU have been among of the highlights of studying law here

Suchara’s interest in law stemmed from a conversation she had with her uncle who said that: “if you want to change the world, you have to know the rules of the game and the rules of the game are law”.  

Today, having almost completed her Bachelor of Laws (Hons)/Bachelor of Asian Studies Flexible Double Degree, Suchara claims that during her studies she learnt so much more than just the “rules of the game”.

“My Asian Studies degree focused on the international relations and issues in countries like Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and I liked that I could pick those niches.

“I also got to study Hindi, which was a bonus because I love Bollywood movies!” Sri Lankan born Suchara said cheerily. 

“Law is so interesting; I am almost scared to say I like something in particular, because there are so many different areas. It is very challenging though, but once you “get it”, it is a really satisfying feeling.

“It is important to not be afraid of failing or doing average. I think that is part of the journey- you should be aiming to be at the top, but you should focus on progress and enjoying the process and not overidentifying with a grade,” Suchara added. 

Suchara said that through her LLB (Hons) degree and being involved in the ANU Law Students’ Society (LSS), she has also enhanced many transferable skills, including but not limited to adaptability, critical thinking, writing, teamwork, and time management.

As an example, the LLB (Hons) student mentioned a course taught by associate Professor Ron Levy.

“This year, I did a course in Constitutional Law taught by Professor Ron Levy, which really grew my critical thinking skills and my approach to assessment. This course allowed me to reframe how I viewed assessment and made me appreciate thinking creatively and analytically about what I was learning".

Suchara’s involvement with the ANU LSS began in 2016, during the inaugural Law in Action: Cambodia Outreach Project for the ANU LSS Social Justice Portfolio.   

“We learnt a lot about the Cambodian legal system and some of the legal issues that affect Cambodia. None of us realised the intensity of Cambodia’s recent history and the actions of the Khmer Rouge. We were all pretty stunted by that”, Suchara had said back in 2016 during an interview upon returning from the trip.

Two years later, Suchara claims that “Being involved in the ANU LSS and the number of opportunities that exist, have been among the highlights of being a student at The Australian National University.

“I decided to run for the ANU LSS President position, because I think the work the ANU LSS does, is really important and if I didn’t at least try I would really regret it.

“Especially the opportunity I got to meet so many students and staff members and being immersed in that community- everyone is so happy for you to engage with them.

“We have been able to kick off a lot of cool new projects and initiatives – there can be a lot of juggling involved in the role- a lot of people managing and expectation setting and also motivating others to do what they want to do in their role. 

“This year has been a very steep and sharp learning curve and it is really exciting coming to the end of it knowing that somehow the ship didn’t sink and that it is in capable hands for the next year”.

Suchara Fernando will conclude her term as the 2018 ANU LSS president on 30 November 2018 and will be succeeded by Rocky Lagudi, a Bachelor of Laws (Hons)/Bachelor of Commerce flexible double degree student.

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Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team