Written by Bond University journalism student, Tatiana Carter
A select group of university students from Southeast Queensland are about to live out a barrister’s dream - speaking in front of a High Court justice.
Among the them will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Bond University who will participate in a day of competition overseen by High Court Justice James Edelman.
Adding to the pressure will be the presence of representatives of Australia’s largest top tier law firms: Ashurst, Allens, and North Quarter Lane Chambers.
Bond University student Ziggi Busch is prepared to show off her mooting skills, despite only being in her fifth semester of a law degree.
“This feels like a make or break moment for me. A lot of people come to watch the final from different firms so you are put on show and people will remember you if you do or don’t do well,” Busch said.
The 19-year-old Cairns student is hoping that the competition will be a gateway into her future career. She hopes to work with Native Title Law and within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
“I eventually want to use my law degree to get Indigenous land recognised as having native title and taking it off the government and giving it back to the people. I’d love to end up in that field, that’s my main goal,” Busch said.
For Bond University alumni Bethany Allen, the mooting competition helped secure her position at MinterEllison in Brisbane, after having mooted in front of Royal Commissioner Margaret McMurdo.
“Getting to moot in front of these names really sets you up for your future,” said Allen, who was selected to compete in the Netherlands.
“When I went on to the International Criminal Court moot in the Netherlands, my coach said to me, ‘If you have mooted in front of Margaret McMurdo, you’ll be fine’.”
In her spare time, Allen mentors the Bond University team as a way to expose them to commercial law.
“Indigenous students have been typically pigeonholed into Native Title Law and criminal law – there’s no reason that Indigenous students can’t excel and be at these top tier firms,” Allen said.
In addition to Bond, teams from Griffith University, the University of Queensland, and the Queensland University of Technology will also be attending.
The moot will be kicking off on July 24 in the Brisbane Federal Court.