The value of a UWA degree

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UWA and me

I chose to study at UWA for two pretty average reasons: (1) my friends were going there, and (2) there were peacocks. That said, it ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. I enrolled in an Arts degree, and ended up trying a little bit of everything before settling on the Pre-Law major of ‘Law and Society’. I found that degree fascinating, and started the Juris Doctor in 2016. Whilst studying, I really threw myself into UWA’s fantastic volunteering culture through student clubs and societies. I founded the Fashion and Beauty Appreciation Society, and also led the Blackstone Law Students’ Society as its 90th Anniversary President. Campus became my home away from home, and I owe so much to the fantastic opportunities UWA has granted me.

Representation is critical

People who might be regarded as different from a dominant or majority group in society can often be seen and portrayed as one-dimensional. That which makes them different ends up being all that others see. I think it's important to highlight the lives and achievements of people who have diverse experiences, unique stories, and different definitions of success. Representation fleshes out one-dimensional stereotypes into truthful portrayals of ordinary human beings. Once that shared fact of human experience is clear, people from a vast range of backgrounds can more easily connect.

Positive portrayals encourage participation

Representation helps marginalised people to see someone they can relate to, especially if they've never seen a positive portrayal of someone like them. I didn't grow up seeing people who looked, spoke, or acted like me in the media. When I developed an interest in law, I never associated my identity with being very ‘lawyerly’. Positive portrayals encourage marginalised people to participate in life more fully. It’d be a terrible shame for a brilliant idea to be trapped in the mind of someone who was never given the chance to speak!

Words of wisdom

Throw yourself into the vibrant campus culture of volunteering that UWA has to offer. There’s no better way to make friends, make an impact, learn new skills and forge valuable networks all at once!

 Joshua currently works for the Supreme Court of Western Australia as Principal Associate to the Honourable Chief Justice Quinlan. Joshua graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2019 with a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Law & Society and Communications & Media Studies. Prior to this, Joshua worked internationally in fashion marketing, travelling to London, New York and Sydney with ecommerce giant ASOS. He also has a strong background in nonprofit and volunteer organisations, including the youth-led entrepreneurial community Bloom, and WA AIDS Council. Whilst studying, Joshua founded the Fashion and Beauty Appreciation Society of UWA, and was President of the Blackstone Law Students’ Society in its 90th Anniversary year.

You can connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.