Alumni from UNSW Law have launched an online crowd-funding campaign to raise money for a scholarship program that helps disadvantaged young people from Sydney’s south-west to study law.
The graduates aim to raise $30,000 to ensure the Ngoc Tram Nguyen Scholarship is offered again in 2014.
The Scholarship allows a student from a non-selective, public school in south-west Sydney who has suffered financial hardship or socio-economic disadvantage the opportunity to study at UNSW Law, one of Australia’s leading law schools.
The scholarship comes with a powerful story: it is named in the memory of Ngoc Tram Nguyen, who came to Australia from Vietnam as an infant refugee. After meeting UNSW Professor Lisa Maher and Professor David Dixon (now Dean of Law at UNSW) when they were researching the impact of policing in Cabramatta, Tram was taken on board as a research assistant, co-authoring the report Anh Hai: Young Asian Background People’s Perceptions and Experiences of Policing.
Encouraged by her colleagues, Tram decided to enrol in UNSW’s University Preparation Program. Tram died in a tragic accident before she could fulfil her dream.
The scholarship is a practical tool to help financially disadvantaged young people and inspire the next generation of school leavers in Sydney’s south-west.
"The Ngoc Tram Nguyen scholarship reflects the essence of what our Law School is all about – a vision of legal education dedicated to the rule of law and justice for all,” says UNSW Law Dean Professor Dixon. “We want to create community leaders who are passionate about justice and making a difference."
The first recipient, Victor Lam, is a young law student from Green Valley, west of Cabramatta. Victor is the son of refugees from the Vietnam War. Humbled by the opportunities now open to him, Victor says the scholarship is a "testament that hard work and diligence" can pay off.
The Faculty raised considerable funds to launch the scholarship in 2012. However, the aim is to offer the scholarship in perpetuity, which means raising a final $30,000 before Christmas if the proze is to be offered to a new student in 2014 (and then again in 2019, 2024, 2029 etc).
UNSW Law alumni and students have seen the potential of online crowd funding. Spokeperson Angela Kintominas says the group is using the Pozible crowd-funding site and “cool pledge rewards are on offer”, including autographed novels by Law alumnus Matthew Reilly, a catch up with Australia’s favourite former High Court Justice, Michael Kirby, a round of golf with UNSW Vice-Chancellor Fred Hilmer and a personal tour of the Art Gallery of NSW with UNSW Chancellor David Gonski.
Media Contact: Angela Kintominas, 0419 890 316