Scholarship helps hardworking student fight for others

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A UQ scholarship recipient and Indigenous student ambassador has used the support provided to him by generous donors as a springboard to help others.

Nicholas Frazer, who graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business Management (Honours) in December 2017, has already contributed to his community.

Mr Frazer made the most of the support he received during his studies to not only graduate with honours, but also to volunteer and take on a research project about Indigenous issues relating to the Australian criminal justice system.

In collaboration with Professor Tamara Walsh from UQ’s TC Beirne School of Law, Mr Frazer tackled a project examining Aboriginal imprisonment in Western Australia.

“I hope my research will contribute to Professor Walsh’s ongoing work towards building a profile on Aboriginal deaths in custody, particularly in regards to current issues in Western Australia.

“I have been, and will continue to be, personally interested in these issues as I move forward in my legal career.”

The research focused on Western Australia because its rate of Aboriginal imprisonment was much higher than in other states.

“In Western Australia, an Aboriginal adult is 20 times more likely to be incarcerated and an Aboriginal child is 54 times more likely to be incarcerated than their non-Aboriginal counterparts,” he said.

“I am particularly interested in understanding the extent to which these high rates are attributable to the relationship Aboriginal people have with the Western Australia Police Force. My focus is on the issues around arrest and entry into police custody.”

Throughout his university studies, Mr Frazer also volunteered his time to share his experience studying law with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students in years 11 and 12 as part of UQ’s InspireU residential camp.

Mr Frazer, who grew up in Yamba, is the recipient of the Endowed Dr J & Dr M Fulcher Scholarship in Law and the McCullough Robertson Endowed Scholarship for Law Students.

“Because I’m not originally from Brisbane, the scholarships’ financial components were a great help towards everyday living expenses such as rent, food and electricity, as well as university costs like textbooks and student fees.

“The scholarships have allowed me to build a relationship with the donors. Relationships such as this are valuable in life and I am very grateful for the opportunities these scholarships have provided me,” he said.

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