Final year Law/Business student Tiffany Lau
Human rights and international study are themes running through Tiffany Lau’s six-year law degree. While at UTS Law she’s studied in Beijing, London and Zurich. This year she’s heading off to Hong Kong under the New Colombo Plan Scholarship. The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, also mentored her.
Lau, 23, says she came to UTS because she was attracted to the campus’ CBD location, but during the six years of her degree the University has offered her “so much more than I could have ever expected”. She chose a double degree with Business which she’d excelled at in high school.
Once at UTS, she got involved in many activities, including in 2014, heading to Beijing under the Brennan Justice and Leadership Program. She interned with Zhicheng Public Interest Lawyers, founded by Tong Lihua, a UTS alumnus who graduated with a Master of Laws in 2004.
“They focus on child labour and migrant workers’ rights ” Lau says. “I visited the courts – which few foreigners get to do. They have a different judicial system and I was quite amazed how they integrated technology.”
She also went on exchange for a semester to study in Zurich, and then to the London School of Economics over a Summer session. Now she’s excited at the prospect of studying in Hong Kong under the New Colombo Plan Scholarship.
“The aim of the exchange scholarship is to gain knowledge and increase my cross-cultural understanding during my time in Hong Kong,” says Lau, “so that when I come home, I can encourage others to engage in Australian-Asian relations which is important in the Asian century.”
Lau will study at the City University of Hong Kong and take Mandarin classes (she already speaks Cantonese). She’ll also complete an internship in arbitration. “Hong Kong is a world-leading arbitration centre, and I think I can learn a lot that I can bring back home.”
Lau spent 18 months as part of the High Achievers Mentoring Program with The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG. Her work included researching papers for his involvement with the United Nations’ High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines.
The panel is working with multinational pharmaceutical companies to make vital medicines accessible globally, to many more people at much more affordable prices.
“A lot of it was about reconciling the patent regime with human rights,” she says. “Human rights is very close to my heart. It’s an important part of the Law and an inherent part of The Hon. Kirby’s work.”