Former Somerset College School Captain and dux of 2007, Katherine Mansted, has celebrated the completion of her Bond University studies by taking out two prestigious law awards and graduating as valedictorian of Bond’s Class of 2011.
As Bond’s top performing law student for 2011, Katherine was awarded the Law Gold Medal, donated by Dr John Kearney AM QC and the 2012 Una Prentice Award, presented by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland.
Named in honour of the first woman to graduate from the University of Queensland’s Law Faculty in 1938, the Una Prentice Award recognises the academic excellence of women in Queensland’s law schools, representing the highest level of achievement.
For Bond’s Law Gold Medal, all students are judged across 20 law subjects to identify the student with the highest overall average.
“I was so honoured to win these two awards – and particularly the Una Prentice Award,” said Katherine. “Una Prentice was an inspirational Queenslander and a trailblazer for women in the law.”
No-one at Somerset College or Bond University would be surprised by Katherine’s success.
Graduating as dux of Year 12 in 2007, she was awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship to study at Bond – one of only eight awarded Australia-wide that year.
Opting to take on the challenge of a double degree in Law and International Relations, she continued to excel academically at Bond; placing on the Vice-Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence every semester and taking out 35 First in Class awards.
Katherine also took full advantage of the opportunities Bond offered to participate in national and international competitions. In her first two years at university, she won Best Individual Advocate and first place for her team in the Junior Division of the Brian Orr Mooting Competition and the National Administrative Appeals Tribunal Moot.
She also took part in the prestigious Jessup International Law Moot in 2009 and 2010 when Bond won Best Overall Memorial, as well as the 2011 New Zealand Law Students Association Negotiation Competition.
“When I was deciding which university to choose, I spoke to academics and students all over Australia,” said Katherine. “What really inspired me about Bond was the passion that everyone I spoke to there seemed to share for Bond.
“I found the small class sizes were particularly helpful, as was the academic staff’s ‘open door’ policy but what I really came to appreciate was the collegiality of ‘Bondies’ and the sense of community we share.”
Among the numerous work placements arranged for Katherine by Bond’s Law Faculty was a summer clerkship at one of Australia’s top-ranked law firms – King & Wood Mallesons. This has led to Katherine’s first full-time job as a law graduate, working in Sydney with their Mergers and Acquisitions Group.
And in January next year, she will commence a one-year Associateship for the Honourable Justice Kiefel AC in the High Court of Australia.
“Securing a position with Justice Kiefel provides a rare opportunity to see the inner workings of the Australian legal system at the highest level,” said Katherine. “I will be acting as personal assistant and researcher, assisting one of the country’s finest legal minds and watching Australia’s top barristers in action.”
Through Bond University’s Collegiate Partner Program, Somerset College students are eligible to apply for a number of part and full-tuition scholarships. See www.bond.edu.au/degrees-and-courses/scholarships for more information.