Student spotlight: Meet Jessica Bennett

My name is Jessica Bennett and I am a proud Ngunnawal woman. I grew up on Wiradjuri country in Albury but moved to Melbourne in 2017 to study a Bachelor of Law (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts majoring in Human Rights and Indigenous Cultures and Histories.

I am currently serving as the Indigenous Office Bearer in the Monash Student Association. The Monash Student Association (MSA) is the representative body for all Monash Clayton students. Established in 1961, the student union has a proud history of serving and protecting students' interests.

I also work part-time as the Programs Coordinator at the Korin Gamadji Institute at the Richmond Football Club. I am really passionate about football and play for the Monash Blues.

In the four years of my study at Monash I have had some unreal opportunities and experiences! As part of the Monash Minds leadership program in my first year I was lucky enough to travel to Redfern to volunteer in the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. In my second year I was selected to represent the Monash Law Faculty at the University Scholars Leadership Symposium at the United Nations in Bangkok, and last year as part of the Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous Leadership Program I was grateful to travel to Vancouver in Canada and complete a study tour at the University of British Columbia.

As a kid, I spent my afternoons swimming in the river after school and fishing and camping on weekends. I always knew that I wanted to study at university, but no one in my family had done that before or even finished year 12. I had no idea about how it all worked, but I am so grateful to the staff and students at the William Cooper Institute who were there to help me from the very start. When I reflect on my time at Monash, all of the amazing opportunities that I have had and all the incredible people that I have met, I am reminded of the work that my ancestors did to get our community to where we are today. Ultimately, I want to do this for the next generation so that they can enjoy the same opportunities that I have been lucky enough to have!