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Proud Dharawal woman Georgia Fryer is the 2023 recipient of the Australian Academy of Law’s (AAL) annual First Nations Scholarship. 

Fryer, from Western Sydney, is in her final year of a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) Degree in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Sydney.  

Fryer was presented with the prestigious award at the University of Sydney’s law school on Wednesday 26 April.  

For six years, Fryer combined university studies with two part-time jobs to help fund her degree. But her interest and commitment to law never wavered, even after dropping her subject load to balance work and study life. 

This dedication to the law, says Alan Robertson, President of the AAL Fellow, convinced the Scholarship selection panel. “The judging panel was very impressed with Georgia Fryer’s commitment to her legal studies and to the law and by her interest in an area of great need, family law.” 

Since 2021, the First Nations Scholarship has helped First Nations law students through the often-arduous final year with a $5000 prize and the assistance of an AAL Fellow as a mentor for that period. 

“I wasn’t expecting it all,” Fryer said. “Every cent counts for me, and this will make all the difference throughout this year, especially when I also have to fund my Practical Legal Training.”  

Fryer interned with Allens Law Firm and is currently working with Legal Aid, which she says helps her focus on the needs of the most vulnerable in the community. 

“It’s often about offering disadvantaged young people the support and encouragement they need to understand their legal rights and offer them peace of mind. It means using not just legal expertise but also empathy and emotional intelligence in order to reassure them about the positive outcomes achievable for them through the legal system.” 

Fryer hopes to be admitted to practice early next year.