Fourth time’s a charm: Law student set to graduate after COVID disruptions

Published 28 June 2022
Law graduate Gillian Fiddy on campus at the Gold Coast Law graduate Gillian Fiddy on campus at the Gold Coast

Law graduate Gillian Fiddy is “very excited” to attend her graduation ceremony at the Gold Coast after four cancellations during the pandemic.

Gillian will be graduating the Bachelor of Laws degree, following a turbulent few years of study during the COVID-19 pandemic which saw a majority of classes move to online delivery.

Gillian said the graduation ceremony will be bittersweet, as her father died during the course of her studies.

“I’m very excited but it will be bittersweet because I’d love for him to be there,” she said.

Despite the disruptions, Gillian said there were many positives to studying during the pandemic. She said the popularity of Zoom meant the student committee she was a part of could hold events online that otherwise would not have been feasible.

As Vice President (Admin) of the Southern Cross University Law Student Society, Gillian organised a web conference for students with Julian Assange’s barrister Jennifer Robinson.

Gillian said online engagement enabled the conference to happen.

“It gave us opportunities to have one presenter and hundreds of participants from all over the country that didn’t have to fly anywhere,” she said.

Gillian felt inspired to change fields after becoming frustrated with the operations of employment law. With encouragement from her husband and children, all of who had studied law, Gillian decided to enrol with Southern Cross University.

Gillian said she initially felt nervous about enrolling as a mature age student but quickly felt supported.

“It was all very welcoming and encouraging and just generally supportive,” Gillian said.

“I felt part of a group and whenever I had any problems, I could always make contact with the staff.”

Gillian said she will be utilising her Bachelor of Laws degree in her new role in the legal services division of Services Australia.

“I’m really excited about being able to apply the knowledge that I received and gained at university through doing the law degree,” she said.

“I’ll be able to support the area that I'm going to with my technical knowledge and knowledge of customer information, as well as my legal knowledge. So, it's unusual that someone would have the experience that I have.”

Gillian said her advice to other students would be to combine their new knowledge with skills they already possess.

“I don’t think that you have to reinvent yourself. Combine the skills you have with an area of work that you enjoy and you’ll be more of an asset to yourself.”

Gillian will be awarded the Bachelor of Laws degree at Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast graduation ceremony on June 29.

Watch the graduation ceremony live stream

Media contact: Media and content team