by Trin Tongsiri
As Australia's ties with China begin to thaw, Sienna Grubb is positioning herself to help steer the relationship into a new era.
Miss Grubb has been studying Mandarin for 10 years and hopes to use her Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts degrees ‘to be a bridge between the two cultures', particularly in the mining sector.
She is off to a good start with the first-year Vice Chancellor's Elite Scholarship recipient winning the negotiation section of this year’s Queensland Intervarsity Law Competition alongside fellow Bond University law student Ella Kirk.
The competition was contested by Bond, Griffith, Queensland, Southern Queensland, and Southern Cross universities.
“It required cooperation and critical thinking, and it further cemented that I actually work well in a high pressure environment,” Miss Grubb said.
The West Australian came to Bond after attending Presbyterian Ladies' College in Perth. She took up Chinese early at high school and recently decided to make the language and the country a focal point of her future career. After achieving First in Class for both Chinese Language and Culture and Chinese Business and Media this year, she is on the right path.
“At the end of Year 12 I started to find a passion for the culture behind the language and I decided that it was so essential for my career, so I’m continuing it at university,” she said.
“I want to move to a legal career where I am able to use my Chinese language skills.
“China presents itself as a consistent key player in global economics, and being bilingual in Chinese and English will be invaluable in conducting effective business.”
With resources making up the lion’s share of Australia’s exports to China, Miss Grubb said she hoped to undertake legal work in the mining sector.
“Ideally I’d like to use my dispute resolution skills to build a level of trust for my Chinese clients and foster relationships that will become beneficial toward our mining sector growth,” she said.
Miss Grubb plans to visit China in the next few years to put her language skills into practice.
“There is only so much theory that my language journey in Australia can teach me, and I feel that going on to exchange to China in the next few years will fill in the gaps I have missed,” she said.
“The China immersion will allow me to effectively come back and be able to use this knowledge in the Australian business and government sectors.”