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Jazmin's journey to breaking barriers

Growing up, Jazmin Grant says she saw inequity all around her.

It’s what inspired the 18-year-old to study Law and International Relations at Bond University.  

Speaking on the eve of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 (Friday 8 March), Ms Grant said she was looking forward to graduating next year and putting her double degree to work.

“As a young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman I’ve witnessed the various injustices within our legal system and as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to pursue a legal career,” she said.  

Jazmin Grant in the Moot Courts on campus
Law and International Relations student, Jazmin Grant

“Issues such as racial profiling, the lack of culturally appropriate services and systemic oppression from government systems inspired me to study law to raise awareness that these barriers exist for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“My desire for these injustices to be eliminated to achieve equality within our legal system is very strong.”

However, Ms Grant does not underestimate the challenges ahead.

“Opportunities for young women in law here and around the world have always been an issue,” she said.

“We are seeing disproportionate gender gaps in everything from judicial appointments to pay and other career pathways that are a lot harder to navigate than they should be.  

“The prevailing mindset that law is a male-dominated area can be very confronting for a lot of women, but it’s time that that sort of thinking was stopped, and I want to be a part of that.”

Ms Grant said she chose to leave her home in Yeppoon in Central Queensland to study at Bond because of its practical approach to law.  

“It’s different from other universities because of the emphasis on practical legal skills as well as the extensive real-world legal knowledge that the teachers have here,” she said.  

 “I’ve quickly discovered that in law and international relations, women are amazing advocates for the sort of empathetic issues that some males might not understand - issues of violence against women, for instance,” she said.  

She also said the way that women approached international issues could be very different to men.  

“Women want to cooperate more and lead discussions and give their world view,” she said.  

“International issues have higher stakes and I think there’s a place for women in the top-end discussions and resolution of some of the world’s biggest legal issues.”

Which all fits in perfectly with the 2024 International Women’s Day theme of Inspire Inclusion with its aims of providing women and girls with access to quality education and encouraging them to enter leadership and decision-making roles.  

“I think the IWD commitment to addressing any areas that support the advancement of women and girls is really important; to inspire women to take on roles that they may have not even considered before.

“And importantly, supporting them in their decisions and helping them to gain the confidence that they are on the right track,” Ms Grant said.

Ms Grant’s move to the Gold Coast earlier this year means she had to leave her close-knit family of mum Melynda, dad Garth and younger brother Ethan, 17, for the first time.  

But she says she will always cherish First Nations cultural teachings from the region.  

“Growing up I came to love the local Darumbal customs and culture which I was so immersed in through dance and storytelling, things that I hold dear.  

“My family has been extremely supportive of my studies and my move south and the similarities of the Gold Coast and Yeppoon coastal lifestyles, the beaches and the friendships I’ve made here, have made it all just that little bit easier.” 

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