ia ora koutou, ko akbara te maunga, ko urdun te awa, ko al jalil te moana, ko tamaki toku kainga, no falesteen a iraq ahau, ko askari toku whanau, ko Mira toku ingoa.

It is with immense gratitude and humility that I stand before you today as a recipient of the Kate Edger Women in Law Award. I am truly honored to represent not only myself but also the exceptional group of awardees who share a common aspiration – the pursuit of education with a purpose. This award resonates deeply with the values upheld by the Trust’s remarkable namesake, Kate Edger, a visionary advocate of women’s education and empowerment.

As I reflect on my journey, I am reminded of the pivotal role that Kate Edger’s legacy has played in shaping my path. I stand here not merely as a recipient of an award, but as a product of the ideals that Kate Edger personifiedthe belief that education goes beyond the boundaries of the classroom and equips us with the tools to create a better world.

Kate Edger’s unwavering dedication to women’s education and her advocacy for change through civic engagement deeply resonate with the work I am privileged to do today. The legal profession, much like Kate’s fight for suffrage, holds the power to effect transformative change. Just as she championed women’s rights through education and civic participation, I see the legal field as a conduit for justice and progress. In a world where equality and justice are not always guaranteed, I am committed to using my skills and knowledge to advocate for those whose voices are often unheard, to uphold the principles of fairness and equality that Kate herself held dear.

In addition to my studies, I’m deeply committed to making a positive impact in the law school community. As a co-Equity Officer at the Law School, I engage in addressing student equity issues both in the law school and beyond. Working closely with the Faculty equity staff, I ensure that the concerns of our diverse student body are heard and acted upon effectively. I’m proud to lead the Equity Council, which brings together various Law School equity groups like Māori, Pasifika, Asian, and Rainbow law clubs. Through this collaborative effort, we’re striving to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities and bring about fairness.

Part of my job is also connecting directly with fellow law students to ensure their equity-related concerns are properly addressed by the Faculty. This means building an inclusive and supportive environment within the law school, which is both challenging and fulfilling. My role as an Equity Officer lets me contribute to creating a better experience for diverse law students, something I deeply value.

Outside of my Equity Officer role, my passion for humanitarian causes drives me to participate in groups like Amnesty on Campus and Student Justice for Palestine. These opportunities have allowed me to actively advocate for human rights and raise awareness about crucial social justice issues. I’ve also been fortunate to contribute to campaigns promoting equality for marginalized communities.

When Kate Edger boldly applied for a university scholarship under the gender-neutral initials K. Edger, she exemplified courage and determination that continues to inspire. Her determination to learn and excel in a predominantly male academic environment is a testament to the perseverance that resides within us all. In a field like law, it’s common to battle imposter syndrome, feeling inadequate or out of place. However, just like Kate Edger’s pioneering spirit, we must rise above these doubts. Remember, our unique voices and perspectives are essential for reshaping the legal landscape.

Kate Edger’s legacy extends far beyond her own achievements; it lives on through the lives she touched and the ideals she instilled. The values she upheld, emphasizing intellectual achievement, humility, and public service, continue to shape generations of women striving to make a difference. Her legacy is evident not only in the halls of academia but also in the very fabric of society, as women like me endeavor to break barriers and drive positive change.

Today, as I accept this award with gratitude in my heart, I extend my appreciation to the Kate Edger Trust Board for recognizing the potential in each of us and for keeping Kate Edger’s vision alive through this remarkable initiative. This award is not merely a recognition of my personal accomplishments; it is a recognition of the collective potential that education and determination hold to shape a brighter future.