A second-year Law student with a passion for making a difference in climate change and sustainable development has been awarded this year’s Ciara Glennon Memorial Law Scholarship at The University of Western Australia.
Natalie Fretton, 23, of Subiaco completed a Bachelor of Arts at UWA in 2019 and is now undertaking a postgraduate Juris Doctor degree.
After moving from her home town of Albany in 2017 to begin her studies at UWA, Natalie has supported herself with two part-time hospitality jobs.
“I am really honoured to be awarded this scholarship, and I look forward to representing the spirit of this award in both my personal and professional life,” she said.
“It will allow me to take a step back from paid work and focus more of my time on volunteering with organisations that support equity among disadvantaged communities.”
Natalie has completed two internships with UWA’s McCusker Centre for Citizenship, and currently sits on the Centre’s Student Advisory Committee.
“The values of the Centre particularly resonate with me,” she said. “I think systemic change begins with fostering mindsets of empathy and compassion, which is at the heart of the Centre's mission.”
During 2019, Natalie spent a month in India working with Pollinate Group, an Australian-based organisation focused on empowering women in urban slum communities by offering resources to tackle poverty within their communities.
“This opportunity allowed me to see the impact that individuals and organisations can have on the world, and I want to take that spirit with me as I move forward with my degree and future career.”
She has also recently volunteered to take on a role with the Subiaco Justice Centre.
The Ciara Glennon Memorial Scholarship was established in 1998 with the support of the Glennon family. It is sponsored by Ashurst (formerly Blake Dawson), the law firm where Ms Glennon worked.
It is awarded annually to a full-time student from UWA’s Law School who needs financial help to continue studying, makes a recognisable contribution to the community, demonstrates an active interest in an area outside the practice of law and shows a balanced approach to life and concern for others.
In addition to her university studies, part-time work and volunteering, Natalie is a keen sportsperson and spends her time cycling and running.
“I enjoy cycling to university, and I believe physical activity is an important aspect of staying mentally healthy,” she said.