The Social Justice Portfolio provides a diverse range of opportunities for students to engage in social justice projects and events. In 2017, the Social Justice Portfolio will be working on the following:
The Women in Law Breakfast:
Every year the Social Justice Portfolio puts on a breakfast for ANU Law Students to come along and hear about various issues facing women in the legal profession. Although the status of women in the profession is changing and the most law graduates are female, women continue to be underrepresented in the upper echelons of the profession. There are not yet enough women in partnership, at the bar, or on the bench. This event aims to provide an opportunity for students to listen to experts in the area. This year the event will focus on the intersection of law and social justice issues that effect Australia.
The Social Justice Dinner:
The Social Justice Dinner is a key event in the Law Student’s Society calendar. It is a chance for students to hear from a well-known person in the legal world who also has a strong sense of community and social justice. Past speakers have included, for example, Sir Anthony Mason and Julian Burnside QC. The event includes a two-course dinner and a chance to ask questions of and mingle with the speaker. This is an event not to be missed.
Cambodia: Law in Action:
This project sees 18 ANU Law students head to Cambodia where they learn of legal issues that impact Cambodia. In 2016, students saw up to 17 different organisations, the historical temples in Siem Reap, the S-21 Prison and the Killing Fields. Prior to flying to Cambodia, students participate in a number of fundraising initiatives from washing Cars on Hindmarsh Drive, selling chocolate boxes, social nights and coin collections. The sky’s the limit when it comes to fundraising events. All proceeds from fundraising go to the organisations to assist them in continuing their work in areas such as human rights, domestic violence and land titles.
LSS-Dagon University Students’ Association Essay Feedback Program:
This project will see a number of law students help students in Myanmar with their critical writing skills. This project came about after a group of ANU students completed a summer course in Myanmar. The current situation in Dagon University is that there are group of 30 students who meet together to write essays on topics of their own choosing that are about 500-1000 words in length. Currently, essay research and writing is not part of the old wrote learning curriculum they study over but many students are keen to learn. The essays they have been writing are written in their own time. Then these essays are given to the student in the class with the best English for feedback purposes. However, he felt overwhelmed with the number of essays he has to read. Due to this a group of ANU law students will offer their time to read a number of essays a term and provide feedback on argument, grammar and referencing.
The ANU Law Student Society (LSS) Social Justice Portfolio is planning to establish a homeless initiative to enhance student awareness of the high homeless rates in Canberra. In addition to increasing engagement in resolving this particularly significant local issue. As most of our membership consists of interstate students, we wanted to create a local outreach program that will not only enhance student understanding of the homeless situation in Canberra but also give them an opportunity to take-action and gain first hand insight on this critical issue.
This initiative showcases the academics of the ANU College of Law and others to come and discuss a variety of social justice topics. The purpose of this series is to provide an opportunity for students to learn more about the community and world around them.