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John Rawnsley

John Rawnsley with President Barack Obama

“I value the fact that CDU is uniquely Territorian and provides excellent facilities and services from the library to technology to the quality of teaching and education.”

A proud Territorian of Larrakia heritage through his mother, CDU Alumnus John Rawnsley is an accomplished solicitor with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA). He graduated in 2007 with both a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

In addition to his full-time job with NAAJA, John is a Director with Larrakia Development Corporation, Director of Northern Territory PHN, Smith Family Advisory Group member, and a Youth Ministry Coordinator with the Uniting Church.

Since graduating, John also has taken on roles including Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Alice Springs, Council Member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council, Leadership Development Manager with Desert Knowledge Australia, Committee Member of the NT Constitutional Convention Committee, Board member of St Phillips College, Chairperson of Kokoda Trek 2012, and Board member of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority.

John grew up in the Territory, living at Uluru and Kakadu when he was young. In his teenage years, he lived in Darwin close to CDU’s Casuarina campus, and was familiar with the CDU facilities from playing basketball there during high school.

After completing high school, John worked at Jabiru before enrolling at CDU to study law. “I was interested in studying law and enrolled in a pre-law program run by the Law School during the January holiday period,” John said. Successful completion of the pre-law program allowed John into the Bachelor course. He said he was attracted to the sense of community the CDU offered. “Being close to home, among familiar peers and with support at the university, I was at a place where I could develop and grow and achieve in my studies and transition to a career,” he said.

Reflecting on what he valued most from studying at CDU, John said: “I valued the fact that CDU is uniquely Territorian and provides excellent facilities and services from the library to technology to the quality of teaching and education.”

When discussing what he was able to achieve from gaining a tertiary qualification, John said “I believe there are significant opportunities for people who receive a qualification at CDU to continue their profession and career in the NT”.

With so many remarkable career milestones John proudly says his biggest achievement is “having a wonderful and caring family.”