I am originally from Wales in the UK, but went to Liverpool University in the north of England to read for a degree in Classical Studies, which is a study of classical Greek and Roman literature, history and art. Some of the classical texts I studied were ancient court transcripts, I found the classical Greek theories of the rhetoric fascinating and realised that many of their theories about the structure of a good argument are still very relevant today.
After finishing University, I decided to travel and spent a year backpacking around Australia. As the year drew to a close, I decided that I did not want to go home and wanted to make Australia my home.
I chose to study law as I felt it would allow me to work in a field where I could utilise my own skills of argument and persuasion. I have always had a strong interest in protecting human rights and I thought that studying law would give me the tools to do this.
After having already spent four years at university the prospect of spending another four as a student was not an option financially. I decided that I would work full time and at the same time study for the Legal Practitioners Admission Board’s exams on a full-time basis. I worked for a large insurer who were very supportive of my legal career, this allowed me to get some really valuable experience while I studied. It was a very busy time but I managed to fit in lots of overseas travel during the holidays.
After I had completed the course my husband and I took a year out and travelled through Peru, Chile, France, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Namibia. We saw some amazing sights; the highlights were a three-day hike to Machu Picchu and climbing Kilimanjaro.
On our return from overseas I continued to work in CTP and Public Liability law for a large insurer. I decided that I wanted to do something different and I started to become interested in health law. Around this same time some members of my family faced some difficult health challenges and I realised how vulnerable patients are when they are in the health system and how reliant they are on their health practitioners. I decided to study for a Masters in Health Law at Sydney University and absolutely loved the course which was incredibly interesting and challenging.
At that same time, I also started volunteering for Salvos Legal, which involved giving free legal advice to refugees. I realised that I preferred working for a private person rather than a big organisation as the impact of my work was so much greater. I decided to swap sides and work for the plaintiff rather than the defendant.
I have now worked for three plaintiff law firms practising almost exclusively in health law and I have enjoyed the challenge of helping people to work out what went wrong and then assisting them to access appropriate compensation to help them to carry on with their lives.
I still love travelling and my family and I went to Canada earlier this year where I tried skiing for the first time. It took me a while to get over my fear of flying down a mountain at high speed but now we are all hooked, and we are busily planning our next trip.