30 November, 2010
Story by: Alexandra Blucher
Image: courtesy of Michael Whitbread
If Michael Whitbread thought he had lapses in motivation studying for his law degree he's making up for it now.
Although not a UTS graduate (he studied at UNSW) he has won the support of the UTS Faculty of Law to set up a $20,000 scholarship to help UTS students get experience in a leading London barristers' chambers.
To begin next year, the Michael Whitbread scholarship is being launched by the determined young man with a journey of a lifetime; motorcycling across the world.
The 24 year old says that maintaining motivation was the greatest challenge of law school, and it was his time away from studying that kept him going.
"The three months I spent working at a leading law firm and the time I spent working in the High Court of Fiji with Justice Thomas Hickie demonstrated to me the way I could use the skills I've acquired to improve the lives of others," Michael said. "I want other young law students who struggle with their studies to learn this important lesson too."
Michael postponed his graduate position at a leading Sydney law firm to ride from London to Sydney.
Michael gets some attention in Mumbai
He has covered a lot of ground; navigating Mumbai's manic traffic, scaling arid desert mountains in Iran and camping in Belgium's dense green forests.
The motivation for this exhilarating yet at times arduous journey through Europe and Asia comes from Michael's strong belief that when it comes to helping people through practising law, life experience is as important as thick text books.
It is this ideology which laid the foundation for the scholarship.
It will provide ambitious and open minded law students with invaluable on the job experience with Dr Thomas Hickie, a leading London barrister and former Justice of the High Court of Fiji.
The Michael Whitbread scholarship will cover the flights and some expenses of the successful candidate to fly to London and spend two weeks working with the best and brightest at Dr Hickie's chambers at 7 Bedford Row.
Michael is aiming to raise $10,000 by 17 December and the UTS Faculty of Law will match Michael's gift dollar for dollar.
Donors to the Michael Whitbread Scholarship can make contributions online by credit card at http://forms.uts.edu.au/index.cfm?FormId=175 or by cheque made payable to the University of Technology, Sydney addressed to the Development Office with a cover note saying the gift is in support of the Michael Whitbread Scholarship.
Also Michael has a blog with detailed information about his journey as well as pictures.