Off to Oxford for law crusader

Riana Cermak after receiving one of two Law Foundation of SA fellowships awarded last week.

Flinders Honours law and international relations graduate Riana Cermak is off to Oxford University to study postgraduate civil law.

With a $50,000 Law Foundation of SA fellowship awarded this month, the 26-year-old is keen to expand her research on laws and policies that benefit society and promote international responsible business practices.

While she’s away, the charity she founded in Adelaide will keep giving women around Australia the right advice to get their careers off to a great headstart too.

“We’re building on the charity’s foundations, focusing on mentoring and partnering with the Zahra Foundation, and looking to expand to Sydney and other states with our band of loyal supporters and volunteers,” says Ms Cermak, still the ‘face of Flinders’ on some public buses on the Bedford Park campus ring route.

The Education Network is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to help women to further their education at TAFE or university by giving them access to resources, mentors and information that might not otherwise be available to them.

Ms Cermak graduated last year after founding the Education Network, consulting for human rights non-government organisation Hivos in Jakarta, Indonesia and also volunteering with Red Cross Australia.

She won a University medal before working for an Adelaide law firm and now as a corporate lawyer at King and Wood Mallesons in Sydney.

Last year, she attended an International Bar Association conference as part of a Baxt Prize awarded by the Law Council of Australia for her paper on directors’ duties and human rights in offshore operations and supply chains.

The judging panel comprised former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia Robert French AC and President of the Human Rights Commission Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher.

“My research has tended to focus on corporate social responsibility, business and human rights, and modern slavery,” the young entrepreneur says.

“I am grateful for all of the opportunities that Flinders University gave me during my studies and look forward to keeping in touch with all my contacts there in coming years,” she says.

“There have been many inspirational people who have supported me during my studies, and my Honours supervisor Dr Sulette Lombard has been an amazing expert guide in my areas of research.”

 

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