Bendigo student Tayla Anderson combined her two favorite subjects at high school and has turned them into the start of a promising career.
The La Trobe University student was studying both legal studies and psychology at Swan Hill when she realised that was where her interests lay.
From there, she found La Trobe’s Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Psychological Science combined degree and knew it was the right fit.
“I saw the double degree at La Trobe and thought, ‘why not?’ and never looked back,” she said.
“I’ve absolutely loved it.”
Ms Anderson is now in her fifth and final year of the double degree at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus and says the decision to study here and not Melbourne was easy.
“I have always enjoyed Bendigo,” she said, adding that the distance to her home in Swan Hill was a big selling point.
She now takes the two-hour drive to Bendigo two days a week to attend university, while working three days at Garden and Green Lawyers in Swan Hill.
“I love helping people and making a difference to people’s lives.”
Ms Anderson was recently awarded the Law Council of Australia’s 2017 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship, an accolade she says she is grateful for.
“It’s amazing, I’m still overwhelmed,” she said.
“There are probably no words to describe how amazing it is. I’m very thankful.”
The John Koowarta Scholarship is the only national scholarship dedicated to helping indigenous students realise their ambitions of becoming lawyers.
It was created 23 years ago and honours Aboriginal land rights pioneer John Koowarta, a Winychanam Elder from the Archer River region around Cape York.
Law Council of Australia president Fiona McLeod SC said Ms Anderson was an outstanding student with both compassion and drive.
“Whether helping younger students with the transition to secondary school, or coaching them at the local football and netball club, Tayla has been a positive role model in Swan Hill, Victoria – where she’s excelled academically,” Ms McLeod said.
“We have no doubt that she will be an outstanding lawyer, no matter what area of law she practices in the future.”