Flying start to a legal career

VU honours law graduate Stephanie Hansen was the first Australian law student to undertake an internship with Air New Zealand and has now taken her career to Geneva as the only 2016 recipient of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) legal internship.

“I chose to study at Victoria University because of the location – central in the CBD, close to the legal precinct – and also the pragmatic approach that Victoria University offers, with connections to the industry itself.

My study experience at Victoria University provided a really strong link to the industry.  My university lecturer, Charles Giacco, was pivotal in me getting both the internship with Air New Zealand and at IATA through mentoring, the organisation of industry speakers and through specific aviation law education. Victoria University is one of the only universities in the country that provides an Aviation Law elective (Transport Law) which I was able to achieve dux in the subject.

The industry experience through the placements – such as the Sunshine Youth Legal Centre, community legal centre placements, the court programs, the mentor programs and the exchange programs – I think really developed me as a law graduate.

I took part in an exchange program on Commercial Arbitration and Mediation at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. I also spent 1.5 years volunteering at Peninsula Community Legal Centre assisting access to justice for disadvantaged members of the community.

My advanced legal research dissertation focused on the laws surrounding pilot mental health. The industry is craving research in the area of pilot mental health and what can be done to create an aviation environment that is even safer.”

Courses studied

Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Stephanie Hansen