FREEDOM FIGHTER.

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Lillian. Law and Criminal Justice.
Ngāi Tahu

What drew you towards law and criminal justice?

I've always been interested in crime and loved watching TV shows about it as a kid. Stories about people who are wrongly convicted inspired me to see if I could help provide representation. I’m passionate about making sure New Zealand’s justice system is fair for everyone.

How have you found the course so far?

It's definitely challenging! There's a lot to learn. But it's a good challenge. It's broadened my understanding of what law is about and all the different areas within it.

Favourite highlight from your studies?

Definitely a course I took on the History of Gangs in New Zealand. I absolutely loved it! We got to learn the social theories around why gangs are formed and the reasoning for people joining them. Around 15 or so members from the Mongrel Mob came to one of our lectures, including some of the top dogs! Being able to listen to their experiences first hand and hear the direction they’re wanting to head in as an organisation, was incredible.

How have you found your lecturers?

They’re all really approachable and willing to help. That’s encouraging, especially when you're taking law which is such a big subject to tackle. They're very knowledgeable and have contributed to the law textbooks we use throughout New Zealand. The academic advisors and tutorials are also really helpful. The uni workload is a lot less scary than I imagined it to be. You’re not just thrown in the deep end.

Tell us about your internship with BNZ.

I was with them for 12 weeks over the summer. I was positioned in the Private Banking sector for three days of the week, with the other two days being able to go around the other various business units. This gave me a great overview of the Partners centre and the way BNZ functions as a whole. This internship has definitely helped me decide which papers I would like to take in the future. Interning at BNZ was amazing and has provided me with really valuable work experience.

"Around 15 or so members from the Mongrel Mob came to one of our lectures, including some of the top dogs! Being able to listen to their experiences first hand and hear the direction they’re wanting to head in as an organisation, was incredible."

So what advice would you give to those within the Pasifika community who are thinking about university study?

Utilise what the Pasifika Development Team has to offer. They have mentoring programs, tutors available or can help find someone to help you with your studies. They are really welcoming, easy to talk to and want to help in any way that they possibly can with supporting Pasifika students through University. They also have the Jandal events and other functions that allow you to connect with other Pasifika students which is really great to get involved with if someone was nervous about starting university.

What do you get up to alongside your studies?

For the past two years I’ve been with the Court Theatre Youth Company. Because my uni schedule is quite flexible I’m able to put a good amount of time into it each week, which wasn’t possible at high school. I’ve also joined Lawsoc, Crimsoc, Musoc and Dramasoc. I can’t wait to get more involved with the clubs that UC has to offer.

Any words of advice for Year 13’s?

In high school your course selection is quite rigid, but here at UC you can take what interests you. So I would say, just give things a go. There’s a huge range of papers and courses, and you can always change your path part way through if it’s not feeling right. UC is exciting, there’s lots of variety and freedom within your schedule so make the most of it!

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