Graduate story: Edwina Lloyd
Criminal Defence Lawyer
Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
"Like many students who choose Law at SCU I arrived with a burning desire to use my degree to improve the world. Because I hadn't studied for many years I started with the Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies) and then, with good results, transferred to the Bachelor of Laws. The SCU LLB (Bachelor of Laws) taught me the crucial fundamentals of legal practice as well as made me question many of the underlying assumptions about the role of law in Australian society.
"Upon finishing my degree I started work immediately with a small and highly regarded Sydney criminal law firm. In less than two years I have built up a portfolio of around 25 clients, including several Indonesian fishermen and children incarcerated in New South Wales. Cases like these are challenging and emotionally draining but ultimately rewarding because I know that what I do makes a difference. My SCU law degree not only helped me become a lawyer, I believe it helped make me a better person."
2012 School Alumnus of the Year winner
Edwina was the School of Law and Justice 2012 Alumnus of the Year.
Only two years after graduating with a law degree from Southern Cross University, Edwina Lloyd has established herself as a criminal defence lawyer at the forefront of the struggle to protect innocent crew members who have been charged with people smuggling.
She has played a leading role in halting the imprisonment of Indonesian children in Australia who have been arrested as people smugglers. Although the Australian Government's policy is to send juvenile crew members home rather than charge them as people smugglers, government agencies have been relying on controversial wrist x-ray technology to determine whether or not the person is actually a child.
Ms Lloyd explained in an interview on the ABC's World Today: "The intended purpose of the wrist x-ray technique is not to determine chronological age but to determine skeletal growth and maturity in growing children... it is not an accurate determinant of age..." As a result of the campaign by leaders such as Ms Lloyd, the Australian Government is now reviewing its use of wrist x-rays.
Ms Lloyd was also the first lawyer from New South Wales to travel to Indonesia to collect affidavit evidence for a people smuggling case rather than relying on inadequate documentation. In 2011 she travelled to the remote island of Pantar to find her client's family and brought back affidavit evidence attesting that he was a juvenile. As a result of her efforts, her client was released, and the use of affidavit evidence is now commonplace for defence lawyers representing Indonesian juveniles in similar cases.
Updated: 08 April 2013