My name is Benedict Coyne and I'm the Queensland Convenor and National Committee Member of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights. I am the state convenor so I oversee activities throughout Queensland. I am also a national committee member and the chair of the new Human Rights Act Sub-Committee.
What I enjoy about the profession is using my expertise and knowledge that I've learnt from studying at Southern Cross University to afford people access to justice who wouldn't otherwise have it. It's very energising working with clients who have suffered wrongs and you can assist them in getting redress for the damages that they've suffered through the legal system.
What I look forward to everyday is the challenge of representing my clients and getting the most optimal outcomes for them, and also being there to give them, you know, comprehensive legal advice to put them at ease with the processes that they're going through. With Australian Lawyers for Human Rights I'm absolutely energised by the amazing networks of very inspirational individuals throughout Australia that I get to meet who are very focussed on working for social justice.
Yes I have many interesting stories prior to starting my career and studies at Southern Cross University. Once I finished school I really wanted to experience the world and so I enrolled in what I call the University of Life or of the world and I undertook a lot of travelling and also a lot of voluntary work in orphanages in Nepal and also work on a lot of social justice issues across Australia and environmental issues from Western Australia to Tasmania and Victoria.
Me and a group of friends also devised a plan to ride our bicycles across Australia, which we did from Perth to Melbourne, to raise awareness of environmental issues, which was fascinating.
So I studied a Graduate entry Law degree. I was enrolled actually by correspondence but I did some of the degree at the Lismore campus, which was brilliant. My want to study Law to was founded on my strong passion for social justice. And so I spent quite a lot of time comprehensively researching a law school that would suit my needs and the flexible delivery option that Southern Cross University offered was brilliant.
Well University is the foundation of my career and of my legal career. One of the benefits about going to university when you really and truly know what you want to do and what you are passionate about is you'll work really hard and you'll be engaged, which I did. And I got, you know, I worked hard and I got good grades and that afforded me many opportunities including being associate for Justice Bromberg on the Federal Court in Melbourne. And it's also now allowed me to progress into a Masters of International Human Rights Law in Oxford in the UK, which is very exciting as well.
So that grounding at university and all of the opportunities that came through there, including working at community legal centres, including using the university's network to access a whole range of different opportunities has really set me up very well for a strong foundation for my legal career.
I'm Benedict Coyne, and that's my story.