About the halls – Hamish McLennan

23 July 2019

In this new series, we check in with various students around the campus to see what they're up to, what they're studying and what they're passionate about.

In our first catch up, we speak to Hamish McLennan who is a fourth year Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of International Security student. Hamish is from a town on the North Coast of New South Wales called Wooli, and is a senior resident (SR) of Wright Hall.

Hamish came to ANU in 2016 where he was living in a '5-share' accommodation set up at UniLodge. After his first year, he found a place in Bruce Hall which had been temporarily relocated to Wamburun Hall while the original hall was demolished and rebuilt.

"I knew a few people at Bruce and I made some great friends at there but now it's a bit different because I'm at Wright and as an SR, so you're automatically known in the community and it's really easy to meet people. Everyone is fantastic and super nice. It's a really welcoming community. I'm really happy that I'm living there," Hamish says.

In 2018, Hamish went on exchange to the University of Copenhagen.

"It was fantastic. I went to a lot of places, saw a lot of things. I did a lot of travelling before and after my exchange. I went to places I never thought I'd go to such as Russia and the Ukraine. At the end I went to Scotland, America and Canada which was awesome as well."

After going on exchange at the end of 2018, Hamish says he wasn't expecting to move back onto campus. It was only after he applied for a backup off campus that he received the news that he'd received another place at Wright Hall.

"So the fact that I've been able to live on campus for four years is really great and I love having a large community of like-minded people around me that are all working for the same goal to graduate and further their education.."

Hamish admits he's still working out what he would like to do when he graduates, but says his passion does centre around equality in all its forms.

"Whether it be gender equality, equality for minorities, refugees or queer people. It's something that is really close to me and I think that's what I see myself working for in the future," he says.

"I'm especially passionate about access to justice. It's something in Australia that is unfortunately lacking. There is a large portion of Australia who won't be able to afford legal support when they need it."

In 2017, Hamish worked on the marriage equality postal vote in the ACT, where he worked alongside other campaigners who were pushing for the public to vote yes to same sex marriage.

"It was really rewarding to campaign and go out and talk to people. It was more of a get out and vote campaign because it was not compulsory. So it was quite different from the usual Australian political campaigns. The worry for the yes campaign was that we weren't going to get enough people to go out and vote yes."

Hamish admits the debate leading up to the plebiscite was challenging.

"Especially when it's an issue that's very personal and you're asking people who don't have any connection to the issue to go ahead and vote on it. I think it was a pretty upsetting thing for a lot of queer people to have to deal with."

Still, despite his passion, Hamish says he's still considering what he'd like to do after he graduates.

"There are clerkship applications opening at some of the big law firms I'm thinking of applying for. But then I think I'd also like to do some sort of policy work, potentially not even relating to international security. But I'd like to do something around justice work. It's a big passion of mine."