SEARCH WEBSITE

Resilient mum realises lawyer dream to help families in crisis

Published:15 June 2021

Bachelor of Laws alumnus Sarah-Jayne Reid with her son at the ceremony to admit her as a lawyer.

Determined Wadja Wadja woman Sarah-Jayne Reid has pursued a career in law to help families in crisis, but it was her own tough experience that helped her make the choice.

And getting the right support has been vital for the CQUniversity alumnus to achieve her dreams.

“I decided to study law after fleeing domestic and family violence when my son was born back in 2012,” she said.

“He was three weeks old when we left with nothing but a suitcase, and I knew then that I had to create a better life for me and my son, and also set an example as I was now a single mother.”

The Mackay mum began CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Laws in 2015, after completing Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) pathway program.

Ms Reid was the first person in her family to attend university, and successfully applied for Indigenous Commonwealth Education Scholarships and Bursaries, and the CQUniCares Lift Scholarship.

During her degree, Ms Reid also completed a legal engagement placement in Cambodia.

“I got to work alongside organisations such as legal aid and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia,” she said.

“This experience really opened my eyes and cemented my love for social justice.”

Last year, she also completed a work placement at Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, growing her determination to help people struggling in the justice system.

Ms Reid graduated with her Bachelor of Laws in 2019, and completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice in 2020.

In April 2021, CQUniversity’s Scholarships Team offered Ms Reid a 2021 Indigenous Commonwealth Professional Registration Bursary of $970, to assist with registration fees for professional practice.

The following month, Ms Reid was admitted as a lawyer, realising her dream of nearly a decade to help people in crisis.

“From all my experience, I know first-hand just how many people have little to no knowledge of where to get help during a legal crisis, and this is one of the reasons it was so important for me to become a lawyer,” she said.

“I also hope that my achievements can be the turning point for our mob, and that many generations to come can benefit from my learning journey.”

“I would like to thank CQUniversity for all the amazing support - without the scholarship I wouldn’t have been able to get admitted as a lawyer.”

For more information about CQUniversity Scholarships contact 13 27 86 or email scholarships@cqu.edu.au

For more information about CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Laws visit cqu.edu.au/law.