Inala Cooper, daughter of Monash Distinguished Alumni, Indigenous advocate, lawyer and academic, Professor Mick Dodson AM, Monash University Faculty of Law’s first Aboriginal law graduate, graduated at a ceremony in Melbourne this past week.
Inala is currently the Senior Adviser, Indigenous Policy and Strategy at Monash University’s Yulendj Indigenous Engagement Unit. She is dedicated to the advancement of the rights of Indigenous Australians and is passionate about closing the gap in education.“I have no plans to embark on an academic career, despite my dad’s best efforts,” Inala said.
“I’m going to draw on my skills and talents to try and ensure that more Indigenous people have access to a quality education and that Monash continues to have a human rights focus in creating that access. I have had that opportunity and through my work at Monash I am helping create those opportunities for other Indigenous people.
“The person who discovers a cure for cancer, the next astronaut or the next person who sits at the UN could be an Indigenous person who has had the chance to excel in their chosen field. I know that by working to create those chances is where I can make the biggest difference to the lives of others.”
Inala is currently working with Monash University to increase access and support for Indigenous students, ensure retention and advancement of Indigenous staff and students, and maintain a culturally safe environment for Indigenous people at Monash.
Inala’s undergraduate degree was in Arts, majoring in Drama and Contemporary Dance and she first went to the United Nations in Geneva at the age of 14. It was after a trip to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York in 2009, as assistant to her dad Mick, former Expert Member, that she realized embarking on postgraduate study in human rights would be the next stepping stone in her career.
Inala is a former employee of the Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development, working in the Ministerial Taskforce on Aboriginal Affairs. She is a member of the Yawuru peoples, the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters of Broome, Western Australia and was a finalist for the Institute of Public Administration Australia Young Indigenous Leader Award in 2009.
Distinguished Alumni Professor Mick Dodson completed a Bachelor of Jurisprudence in 1974 and a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University in 1978. He was Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission—serving as Commissioner from April 1993 to January 1998.
He was named Australian of the Year in 2009 in recognition of his lifetime commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal people and promoting understanding between all Australians. In 2003 he became a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Indigenous community and as a campaigner for native title rights.
Patrick Dodson, former Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (now Reconciliation Australia), former Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and uncle to Inala was also present to witness her graduation.
About Monash Law School
Monash Law School is one of the largest and most prestigious law schools in Australia and is currently ranked 13th in the QS World University rankings. The school provides legal education and training to more than 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Monash Law School offers a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree (with a graduate-entry option), a Juris Doctor (JD) program and a number of postgraduate legal degrees, including a Doctor of Judicial Sciences, Doctor of Laws, Master of Laws by Research, and several postgraduate master by coursework programs.
Entry Requirements for the Monash Law School LLB Program
To be eligible to apply, you must have the following:
- Completed a high school diploma
- Achieved a minimum 85% average based on your best six Grade 12 subjects
OzTREKK recommends that you apply for this law program if you have achieved a minimum average of 85% or above in your Grade 12 studies. Please note that this is a minimum average to be eligible to apply and that your application outcome will be determined by the Monash Law School. If you have completed some university studies, you will need to submit your undergraduate transcripts for assessment as well, and may be eligible to receive credit for your previous studies.
Starting semesters for the LLB program:
- 2013 July
- 2014 February
The Monash JD is a graduate law degree designed to teach the knowledge and skills required to practice law. This innovative law degree recognizes the needs of graduates who wish to study law, providing the transferable skills and knowledge only a law degree from one of Australia’s leading universities can provide.
Entry Requirements for the Monash Law School JD Program
- JD applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline.
- Applicants with a minimum, cumulative average of 75% above in their university studies, as well as work/life experience, will be considered for admission. Please note that each applicant’s average is calculated over all years of university study. Monash University does not require the LSAT for entry in the Juris Doctor program.
- Work experience is not required for admission.
- OzTREKK also recommends that students submit a resume and/or a personal statement along with their application.
- Interviews may be conducted if a candidate meets the academic requirements. If an interview is required, it will be held via teleconferencing by the JD assessment team.
- Students who have not yet completed an undergraduate degree may apply, as long as they will have graduated prior to commencing the Monash JD program.
- 2013 May
- 2013 August
- 2014 January
For more information about law school entry requirements, application deadlines, tuition fees, scholarships, please visit OzTREKK’s Law Schools in Australia page or contact OzTREKK Australian Law School Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston by emailing email@example.com or calling 1 866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).
Contact OzTREKK for more information about studying in Australia and about law programs at Australian universities.