Naziah Sohail wants to create a future where everyone can be proud of who they are, where no one is left behind, which is exactly what she’s setting out to do by studying Law at Murdoch.
Hailing from Singapore, Naziah set out for Australia to pursue a university education when she was 20 and hasn’t looked back since. With her older siblings having studied at Murdoch, Naziah was intrigued at what a Murdoch education would be like.
“I was inclined to look into it and find out what the university offers. Murdoch had an impeccable reputation and their law programme was one of the few overseas degrees that Singapore recognises.
“This and the combination of hearing personal experiences of those who studied here really drew me to apply.”
Naziah began her journey at Murdoch Institute of Technology (MIT), one of Murdoch's pathway partners, before enrolling at Murdoch University.
Building a future where equity is the norm
Naziah believes that everyone should have equal access to opportunities in life, and believes education is key to building the skills she needs to change her world and have a positive impact on the people around her.
“There should be equal opportunity throughout all aspects of life including education and jobs. Studying in Murdoch will equip me with the proper skills to take charge of my dreams to fulfil this goal.”
Choosing to study law was an easy choice for Naziah, who sees the legal system as a powerful tool to influence social systems.
“Legal systems have the power to impact both the individual and society greatly. I feel more needs to be done to properly represent the voices of the people. Studying law is a good way for me to be in the direct line to help people from all walks of life through the difficulties they are facing.
“Giving them the support and preparing them with the knowledge they need to protect themselves with will allow for a better functioning society.”
Being welcomed into the Murdoch family
While moving to a new country and starting university can be a daunting prospect, Naziah felt welcomed into the Murdoch community from day one.
“The friends I’ve made at Murdoch are ones I intend to keep for many years to come. Murdoch’s rich diversity of students allows me to meet people from all over the globe. They have made trying to adjust to Perth feel effortless. I realised that the saying 'friends are the family you choose' is extremely true.”
For Naziah, the opportunity to make life-long friends at Murdoch goes hand-in-hand with opportunities for personal growth, thanks to our support staff on campus.
“Murdoch has given me opportunities to grow so much as an individual. They have excellent support systems and staff that are there to guide us while we work through finding our place in the community.
“This includes myMurdoch ADVICE that have booths located a few places around the campus to help coordinate units we plan on taking, as well as specialised advice to get the most out of our university education.
“The students are the priority and a big part of what makes Murdoch outstanding.”
Developing independence through international study
Naziah pushed herself out of her comfort zone to study in a new country – but that’s part of what she loves about being at Murdoch.
“I enjoy pushing myself to be independent. This includes making sure I’m responsible enough to pay my bills on time or making sure I have food prepared from when I come back from a long day at university.”
It’s a journey to independence that has been made achievable by Murdoch’s International Welcome Scholarship, which offers students up to $12,000 towards their course fees for every year of study.
“The scholarship allows me to reduce my university fees significantly throughout the whole duration of my degree.”
Naziah also credits Perth’s diverse cultural mix with allowing her to find out more about herself through experiences off-campus.
“I find Perth unique for its balance of biodiversity and city life. In Perth, there are constant movements and peaceful marches held to encourage people and authorities to inculcate better environmental practices.
“These experiences have allowed me to explore the passionate activist in me. Such events highlight the importance of freedom of speech and how fortunate we are to be able to voice out about things we are care about.”
Preparing for the real world at Murdoch
Although Naziah is in her first year of her law degree, she’s already thinking about what a future career might look like.
“I want to be the middleman between the people and the law. With the expertise I hope to gain in the next few years of studying here, I hope that I will be an effective lawyer that prioritises the needs of the people.
And she’s making the most of the learning opportunities on offer at Murdoch.
“Murdoch has facilities that many universities may not offer. In Murdoch, there is an actual Moot Court that students are allowed to utilise. It was built to prepare us law students for the working world and improve on our public speaking skills that are essential in our career."
Murdoch’s Moot Court gives Law and Forensic Science students the chance to put their classroom knowledge to use and build the fundamental skills they’ll need in the workplace, with mock trials held during semester.
“It is a great stepping-stone for students, to really push our limits. Opportunities like these makes my experience in Murdoch feel far more rewarding.”
When asked about her favourite Murdoch moments so far, it’s a mix of learning and socialising for Naziah.
“My favourite moments at Murdoch have to be when I really get to dive into my assignments. Murdoch has many conducive working environments throughout its campus. From the library to Bush Court, where we can do our work outdoors on the comfort of bean bags, there are always spaces for students to concentrate fully on their work.”
Naziah was also selected to be one of six Murdoch University ambassadors and will help let future and current Murdoch students know what life at Murdoch is like.
So, what lies ahead for Naziah?
“Helping others is my main goal and I hope my perseverance to make this harsh world more bearable inspires others to do the same.”