Country life builds resilience
At just 23 years of age, Monique Munro has been awarded scholarships, internships and volunteer work in the legal sector that has helped shape her career.
It is safe to say the Harvey-born law student has a bright future ahead of her.
“I gained a keen interest in politics and law while studying the subject for WACE in Year 11 and 12,” she said.
“After completing a degree in politics and international relations at the Australian National University, I realised my passion was with law.
“I became interested in law because I found that it was more practical and I had a greater opportunity to help people, which is what I enjoyed the most.”
Throughout her course, Monique took on a range of internships and volunteer work with community legal centres.
“For six months I worked with Aboriginal Legal Services in Canberra,” she said.
“As well as this I was awarded an internship through the the Aurora Project Foundation which places students in the under resourced indigenous sector.
“I spent five weeks at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency in Katherine where I attended court in remote areas and assisted a solicitor team in the criminal section.”
After five years of studying, Monique recently graduated from ANU with an Honour 2A grade, and has since begun postgraduate studies in order to gain admission as a solicitor in April next year.
“Soon after graduating I began working as an Associate to Special Magistrate Hunter OAM of the ACT Magistrates Court,” she said.
“This position requires me to be in court every day and assist the magistrate with the running of the court, legal research and decision drafting.
“While I am planning to stay in Canberra for the moment, I’m also quite transient.
“I would love the opportunity to go back up north and practice in remote communities, but also hope to one day return to Perth, or potentially Bunbury.”
Monique believes her resilience stems from growing up in the country.
“I attended Harvey Primary School until Year 4 before I received a scholarship at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar where I completed my schooling,” she said.
“Growing up in the country isn’t the easiest thing, you have to travel around to get to sports commitments, get up early to make the school bus in time — you learn to appreciate things a lot more.
“Going into a career where I’m working with people from all different walks of life, having grown up in a country town has helped me understand people’s backgrounds better.
“While I only get home once a year, usually for Christmas, I appreciate my home town and am excited to see what the future holds for me.”
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