Learning from the classroom and beyond
Page last published: 23 Jul 2014
Bachelor of Laws student Luke Dominish believes that the best way to enjoy uni is to be active and be involved as much as possible.
"I have found that the more I put in at my time at uni, the more I have got out," says Luke who travelled to Germany last semester to present a paper at the G20 Youth Forum 2014 Conference. Luke was among the 1200 international delegates from 200 of the world's top universities who participated in the Forum. He was joined by 9 other fellow students and four staff from Macquarie.
Learning from global perspectives
Luke's paper, entitled You Have (No) Rights: Bills of Rights and the Australian Exception, discussed how rights are protected in Australia despite its lack of a Bill of Rights. In the paper, Luke examined the various alternatives that Australia uses to attempt to protect rights, and the failures that these models resulted in, particularly for minority groups.
He shares, "An interest of mine throughout my degree has been considering how to make the law more just and fair for all. Throughout my degree at Macquarie I have had the opportunity to study various legal controversies such as our anti-terror laws and the treatment of both refugees and indigenous people. I felt that it would be valuable to discuss how these controversies highlight the inadequacy of Australia's model."
"The G20 Youth Forum was a fantastic experience. It was my first time at an academic conference and it was a great chance to share ideas with other like-minded students and academics from around the world. Many of the other participants I met were inspiring people and it was rewarding to get to learn from them. It was a great chance to discuss how different countries around the world tackle different issues and to have my own views challenged. It also provided an opportunity to discuss big issues affecting the world from a youth perspective."
Learning from practical experience
The G20 Youth Forum is not the only extra-curricular activity in Luke's long list. Last semester, he also took a Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) unit - LAWS552 - where he had the opportunity to work on a project for PACOS Trust, a Malaysian NGO. Prior to this, Luke also did an internship with Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. in India as part of another PACE unit (FOBE300).
"I have had the great fortune to take part in many PACE experiences at Macquarie. In the classroom, I am able to learn theory. Through the PACE program, I get to apply theory in the real world. Macquarie's PACE and Global Leadership Program give an excellent opportunity to gain interdisciplinary experience. To be able to gain so much practical experience while completing my degree has been invaluable."
"At Macquarie, you don't just get a degree, but you gain experience and exposure that helps you put that degree into practice. Programs such as GLP and PACE are what separate Macquarie from other universities. They have given me the opportunity to work on projects and travel to places that I never would have thought my degree could take me."
From classroom and beyond
Next semester, Luke will be working with the Aboriginal Legal Service and will travel to Cambodia at the end of the year to work with an NGO.
"After returning [from Germany] I have been even more motivated to get my hands dirty and share what I have learnt. I especially have been looking for chances to work with those that are most disadvantaged by the legal system."
To his fellow students, Luke advises, "Don't be afraid to have a go at anything. There are so many opportunities that uni can offer you beyond the classroom. You never know where your degree can take you, who you will get to meet and what you will get to work on next."
Luke did have a go, and far and wide he has been. By the time Luke finishes his degree at Macquarie, he would have worked for notable organisations, travelled to different countries, and gained numerous professional and practical experiences. And he has only just begun.
Want to get involved? Learn more about PACE
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