Issue 5
Monday, 02 July 2018
Charles Darwin University
Errol Chua is Harvard bound
Errol Chua is Harvard bound

Territory ‘legal eagle’ soars from humble beginnings

By Danielle Lee-Ryder

In a career that spans manual labour to advocating for the underdog, mature age student Errol Chua is now Harvard University bound.

The Charles Darwin University Bachelor of Laws student said his job in a factory had been taking its toll on his body.

“I was always interested in law, but with my age and grades I didn’t think I had it in me,” Errol said. “I had deep misgivings. I doubted whether I could make the transition from physical work to academic pursuits.”

But Errol’s leap of faith has paid off. He will head to the United States for an internship at the prestigious Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic next month.

“It’s a really interesting time to go to the USA with the current issues relating to border security and its government’s policies,” he said. “I’m learning Spanish to assist me while I’m in the US to help with the refugees and asylum seekers.”

Originally from Singapore, Errol said he understood what it was like to settle in a different country. “It can be confusing, stressful and expensive,” he said. “Especially if you don’t speak the language.”

Not only did he finish his degree early, Errol also juggled a part-time job, and voluntary advocacy for CDU students and Indigenous prisoners with family commitments.

“I volunteer with North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency and run their prison clinic,” he said. “I ferry legal advice between the solicitors and prisoners – the area I would like to pursue in the future is criminal defence.

“I believe my passion for the underdog and justice is what granted me this opportunity."

He said that Harvard was a once in a lifetime opportunity and would open many doors.

“I started with zero confidence. CDU has offered so much support and afforded me opportunities beyond my wildest dreams,” he said. “I encourage others to follow their dream no matter what their age or background.”