Young Alumna of the Year
In her short legal career thus far, Farzana Choudhury has already made a big impact on many lives.
Her legal education programs have supported and empowered women in prison and raised awareness of some of the ACT's most disadvantaged people.
As a senior solicitor of Street Law - a program of Canberra Community Law which provides outreach legal services - she established their health justice partnership, and worked with health practitioners and youth work staff to cater to the legal needs of young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
"Empowering people with legal knowledge on what their rights are is crucial. If they can't get on top of their legal issues early on, they can't prevent them from escalating and becoming much bigger. That is why I think community legal education is really important."
She was named the 2019 Young Lawyer of the Year by the ACT Law Society. Farzana also established the Women in Prison Legal Empowerment Sessions, a series of legal education seminars and advice clinics with the goal of supporting and empowering women in prison.
She volunteers with several community organisations such as the Night Time Legal Advice Service, Beryl Women Inc., the Women's Centre for Health Matters, Homeless Connect Canberra and the International Tenants' Day.
Her favourite memory of ANU is writing a thesis on due process and the death penalty in the Asia-Pacific region for her Master of Laws.
"The skills that I picked up at ANU have helped me later on in life, definitely around legal research, analysis and critical thinking."
Farzana believes community legal support is important as it helps promote access to justice for people who are facing disadvantage.
"I think that makes Australia a better place because it means that people who might not have had the best start in life or an equal starting point are given that opportunity."