Bond alumnus Jay Merchant is half of the Australian Mixed Doubles Curling Team that beat the USA at the World Championships in Canada, with his shot securing the win. Australia has never claimed victory over the United States before.
Jay grew up in the small town of Alberta, Canada and has been curling for the past 20 years; 15 years competitively, with his father Archie as his coach.
In 2006 Jay commenced his Masters in Business Law at Bond University, at which time he decided to migrate permanently to Australia and continue with a Juris Doctor degree. Jay was attracted to Bond’s quality academics, beautiful campus, student organisations and also the flexible study options which support his busy schedule as an elite athlete. The Bond staff even assisted Jay to achieve his Distinguished Talent Visa (via Olympic Endorsement) and permanent residency status in eight business days.
As for Practical Legal Training (PLT), Jay was only interested in an on-campus program with quality teaching staff. “I chose Bond University’s on-campus PLT program simply because of Professor Hugh Zillmann. I knew I wanted to focus on the courtroom and what better way to learn and develop a better sense for the courtroom than to learn from one of the top New South Wales and Queensland barristers. It was a great program and looking back there was no other option for someone like me.”
Since completing his Masters in Business Law, Juris Doctor and PLT at Bond University, Jay entered into criminal and family law working as a criminal defence lawyer. He immediately enjoyed working in the courtroom and the challenge of advocating before a Magistrate or Judge on behalf of the client. Jay considers his Bond PLT experience a major advantage in comparison to other lawyers as he was able to apply his in class practice to real life experiences. Jay even said, “I hate to think how my performance would have been without that level and quality of education and practical exposure”.
In addition to this role, he has been serving as an in house legal advisor for the Australian Curling Federation pro bono.
Jay has also been able to apply his degrees to his roles as Director and committee member on a number of Oil and Gas, Sporting and Municipal Boards in Australia and Canada.
Professionally, Jay is now looking forward to commence working with the Queensland Police Service on 5 August as a Police Recruit before transferring over to their Prosecutions Branch. Additionally Jay will serve as a Justice of the Peace and is pursuing a position in the JP Trial program so he can start presiding over smaller trials via QCAT with the aim of becoming the youngest person to hold such a title with the Attorney General’s office.
In regards to his sporting goals, Jay is aggressively pursuing the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and wants to break another record in helping Australia reach its first ever Winter Olympics for the sport of Curling.
Jay has been living in South Brisbane while working and coaching the Australian Curling Team and has donated his winning Australian shirt to the University.