Former Victorian Attorney-General and current Director of RMIT’s Centre for Innovative Justice, Rob Hulls, spoke about the justice system to students from Peninsula Grammar at meeting rooms generously provided by TFA supporters Corrs Chambers Westgarth on June 18, 2019.
Teach for Australia alumna Janneke Newson (Cohort 2010) is teaching at Peninsula Grammar and was able to arrange for Rob to share his knowledge of the legal system, justice and equity.
“It was so generous of Corrs Chambers Westgarth to give us this space,” Janneke said.
“It’s been an eye-opening day for the students and Rob’s story is one that really resonates.”
Janneke (pictured above, centre) is teaching three Year 12 subjects this year, including Legal Studies and was pleased that Rob was able to provide more than an hour of important insights into the justice system to her students; broaching subjects such as Koorie Courts, bail issues, the death penalty, family violence and sentencing matters in addition to sharing the story of his life’s journey.
Rob’s journey to academia includes a stint as a legal aid lawyer in Victoria, working out of Frankston, and providing legal aid services in Mount Isa, Western Queensland, which had a profound impact on his life. Eventually it led him to Federal politics as the Member for Kennedy which spans the Coral Sea to the Gulf of Carpenteria. After his term in Federal parliament Rob returned to Victoria and served in the Victorian Parliament as Member for Niddrie from 1996 to 2012, serving as Deputy Premier for a period and holding a number of ministries in addition to his role as Attorney-General.
Rob’s two takeaway messages to the students was not to let naysayers stop you from pursuing your dream, and to challenge yourself at least once in your life. Happily, this advice mirrors Teach for Australia’s ethos and Rob was sure to let students know that they had an opportunity and obligation to serve others, no matter their career path, which just might include teaching.
Janneke’s students started the day in the Supreme Court before meeting Rob, heading off to Parliament House and visiting Pentridge Prison – home of Victoria’s last execution – in a spooky after-dark session that brought learning to life – and death.