For most young adults, university is a time for 'breaking away' from their parents. But when my daughter Emma began studying a Bachelor of Arts/Law (Hons) at The Australian National University (ANU) we became even closer.
As I am an alumna of the ANU College of Law, we were always able to have interesting discussions about what Emma was studying. Then I started a PhD in law, while she was writing her Honours thesis, and we had even more to talk about.
Emma gave me lots of practical tips about things like structuring my thesis, referencing, using the library, WATTLE (the University's learning management system), faculty members and even the little things, like parking at ANU.
However, studying alongside Emma could also be a little intimidating at times. That's because she is one of the most efficient, focused, people I know. Although we started our research projects at the same time, she had submitted her thesis before I had even written a single chapter.
Emma's personality traits will make her a fantastic lawyer. She has the right temperament for it and, since her earliest days at law school, has displayed an innate understanding of the law, from a theoretical and practical perspective. She constantly surprises me with her insights and her ability to get straight to the nub of a legal issue, even in areas of the law that she is unfamiliar with. I know she will make a significant contribution to the law over the course of her career.
Before I began my PhD, I worked as a senior lawyer at the Australian Taxation Office and the Commonwealth Treasury. Over the years, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of matters ranging from complex audits of banks and multinationals to high profile law design projects and significant litigation in the Federal Court and High Court.
While I may not have passed on my passion for taxation law to Emma, I am delighted to see how much she is enjoying her role as a Prosecutor in the Appeals Unit at the ACT Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions I am also incredibly proud of her academic successes. When Emma graduated from ANU in 2020, she not only left with the Blackburn Medal, but several other accolades under her belt. These included the University Medal, Dean's Certificate for Law Internship and Mick Dodson Prize for Law, to name a few.