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Why Max chose CDU's law school over Melbourne

This article appears in: Alumni stories, High school to uni, Law
CDU student Max Stretton smiling in his graduation robes

Max has seen a lot of the world in his twenty-something years. On finishing high school, the Bali-born, Darwin-raised travel enthusiast was all set to study in Melbourne. But, at the last minute, changed his mind to study law at CDU. Here's why he reckons it was the best decision of his life so far.

It’s students like Max that are right at home at CDU. The Darwin local loves fishing and footy just as much as the arts and Balinese dance. He’s performed in the circus and on stage. And now he’s a litigation lawyer.

After graduating from Darwin High School, he was offered a spot at a university in Melbourne, but instead chose to stay in Darwin and do a Bachelor of Laws at CDU instead. 

The biggest and best decision of his life

Max on graduation day
Max on graduation day

“Two weeks before I left for Melbourne, you might say I was subject to an intervention," says Max. "Close family friends who work in law in Darwin heard about my plan. They suggested it was better to study law at CDU for the work opportunities available, and that I’d be able to study subjects that I’d find more interesting."

Max calculated his finances and considered the opportunities available to him in the Northern Territory. That was enough to convince him to stay in Darwin and enrol in law at CDU.

On reflecting on his choice to study at CDU rather than in Melbourne, Max says it was the biggest and best decision of his life so far.

Unrivalled study, travel and work experiences

At CDU, I’ve gained legal experience over and above many others studying interstate.

“And being based in Darwin has allowed me to see so much of the world and study the subjects I have a passion for," says Max. "Not only does CDU offer great overseas study options, they also create opportunities that are really accessible to students, unlike universities down south.

Max gained work experience in the legal field throughout his studies, undertook short term study in China, and did a semester exchange in Indonesia.

He also worked as a law clerk for a local legal firm. He then moved to Indonesia, where he studied in Yogyakarta and eventually landed work in Jakarta.

I went from living in Darwin, a city of 150,000 people, to working for a law firm on the 34th floor of a skyscraper in Jakarta, with 20 million. It was an incredible experience.

On his return to Darwin, Max worked at the local law firm again and spent a year as an Associate to Justice Peter Barr at the NT Supreme Court.

Today, he’s a litigation lawyer in Alice Springs and is also on the board of an arts company in Darwin that unites people and showcases the artistic diversity of the NT. 

Max during a youth conference

You make CDU, says Max

Remembering his time at CDU, Max looks back fondly on the diversity of his peers and learning opportunities.

“I’ve lived a life brimming with culture, diversity and perspective,” he says. And he was among like-minded peers at CDU.

“Like Darwin, CDU is very multicultural. Each day can be different and everyone brings their own individual approach to learning, which gives students the opportunity to learn from each other," says Max.

CDU is a diverse university with endless opportunities.

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