Graduate Ryan Hill chose Swinburne because the courses connected him to industry and allowed him to pursue a career combining two of his passions: law and aviation.
Now, after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Aviation Management at Swinburne in 2020, Ryan has been awarded the 2021 Supreme Court Prize.
The prestigious prize honours the top students at the eight law schools in Victoria. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Anne Ferguson, says the prize highlights the ‘determination and resilience’ students showed during their final year of study, which in 2020 was significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ryan says this achievement is the perfect way to finish his degree at Swinburne and that he was ‘surprised and honoured to have been recognised.’
The experience of a lifetime
Ryan’s award comes after he made the most of his time at Swinburne by getting involved in Swinburne’s Law Student Society and Aviation Society, airport tours, industry panels and Mooting (simulated court experiences).
Ryan also completed a six-month exchange trip to Indonesia, where he learnt about international law and immersed himself in a new culture – an experience he says was ‘the most significant highlight’ of his time at Swinburne.
‘This experience took me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to learn a great deal about myself and my place in the world. I was able to make lifelong friendships and spend six months travelling a part of the world I never would have travelled otherwise,’ he says.
As part of his law degree, Ryan also completed three industry placements – two at law firms and one at an aviation insurance underwriter. This allowed Ryan the opportunity to explore various aspects of the two industries.
Ryan says his placements gave him more of an understanding of the real world than he could ever get from a classroom.
‘One of the most valuable parts of my experience at Swinburne has been the genuine focus on teaching in a real-world context. Instead of just receiving lectures, our learning is constantly enriched by practical skills, industry exposure and real-world applications.’
Ryan was a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship, the New Combo Plan Scholarship and the Piers Fowler Professional Development Initiative Scholarship. The three scholarships enabled Ryan to balance work and studies, as well as get industry experience.
Ryan immersed himself in Indonesian culture while on exchange, along with other Swinburne students Elliott Mann and Ama Gunathilake.
Ryan has been accepted into a government graduate program that allows him to turn the skills and knowledge he developed during his degree into ‘meaningful, challenging work’.
‘The practical focus of my studies at Swinburne has given me great tools to use in the workplace to engage effectively in the work that I’m doing,’ he says.
‘I genuinely believe choosing to study at Swinburne was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.’