A learning journey to law

Burundi refugee Innocent Karabagega has followed a VU pathway to Bachelor of Laws. The 23-year-old is now in his second year and works as an administrative assistant at the Law Institute of Victoria.

"I was born in Burundi but fled in 2010 because of political unrest and the murder of both my parents. I was also poisoned, then looked after by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kenya until I was given a second chance at life by the Australian Government.

I chose Victoria University because of the good facilities and services that it offers to many immigrants and students from low income families. All my achievements are because of VU – they listened to me and transformed me into a better person who can serve other people, especially those who seek refuge in other countries.

The workplace learning and internships I completed at Stary Norton Halphen Criminal Law Specialists and my volunteer work at Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centres have deepened my knowledge and helped me to be more practical, and enabled me to learn a lot from colleagues.

VU and my course empowered me intellectually to serve both my adoptive country, Australia, and beyond, particularly Africa. I have recently completed an internship with African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), winner of the 2015 United Nations Population award, working with the Tegla Laroupe Foundation  to empower talented refugees. My next goal is to continue with my studies in law and keep contributing to a better world for all, especially for immigrants."

Courses studied

Certificate I in Vocational Preparation (no longer offered). See Foundations at VU

Certificate III in EAL (Further Study)

Certificate III in General Education for Adults

Certificate IV in EAL (Access)

Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Bachelor of Laws (current)

Innocent Karabagega