Brennan Program Summer Circle
Make the most of the summer with the Brennan Program Summer Circle 2019-2020 and build your Reflections on Justice (ROJ) points and Leadership through Service (LTS) hours.
Summer is a great time to unwind, relax, catch up on movies you haven’t seen or books you haven’t read, and attend events that summer in Sydney is renowned for. Make the most of your efforts and claim these activities as ROJ points.
Over summer we are offering students an incentive to accumulate ROJ points. Students who accumulate between 20 and 40 ROJ points over the summer period will receive a bonus 5 ROJ points for their engagement. Students who claim 45 ROJ points or more will be awarded an additional 10 ROJ points.
Students can now also claim bonus points for LTS hours they’ve completed during the Summer Circle period. For every set of 20 LTS hours, students can claim a bonus 5 ROJ points.
NOTE: Total bonus ROJ points are capped at 20 bonus points per Summer Circle period.
We’ll also be advertising some great opportunities for you to volunteer with NGOs and accrue those LTS hours. Signing up is very easy via CareerHub and takes only a minute! Brennanites in the Summer Circle program are recommended to read the official FAQ sheet to make the most of their Summer Circle experience.
This year's Summer Circle will run from Monday, 25 November 2019 until Saturday, 29 February 2020.
During this time the Brennan Team at the Law Faculty will regularly communicate opportunities to increase your ROJ tally and some LTS opportunities. Communication will take place through the new Brennan Collective Facebook Group (invite on registration). Have questions? Email us at the Brennan Program!
Brennan Book Program 2020
We invite all Brennanites, faculty and staff, from the Dean down to incoming first-years, to read the same book. The idea comes from “campus books” at US universities (such as Stanford’s Three Books program). It gives everyone a chance to come to the Brennan Program with something in common. We hope it becomes a way to open up conversations between all years of the Program, and also between students and staff.
For 2020, we’ve chosen a variety of non-fiction and fiction options, launching early over Summer Circle. You are welcome to select one or read, reflect and claim on up to two books per year.
‘Saltwater’ by Cathy McLennan. A deeply confronting and thought-evoking memoir of Queensland Magistrate Cathy McLennan, who reveals her experiences as a newly graduated lawyer representing Indigenous teenagers accused of murder. This compelling read forces the reader to examine the prejudicial nature of the legal system and to re-assess who the true perpetrators in society are.
‘Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland’ by Patrick Radden Keefe. Jean McConville was a recently widowed mother of 10 in public housing in Belfast in the mid-1970s. One night, at dinner time, an armed group of men burst in and took her from into her confused young family. She was ‘disappeared’. It was the height of the Troubles between Nationalist and Loyalist groups in Northern Ireland. What happened to Jean McConville? At its heart, this book is a murder mystery and a very plausible explanation is given at its conclusion. But it is much more than that. It is a political story of a fractured community, the story of the human toll taken borne by all participants, perpetrators and victims; it is a legal tale, of the protection of confidences and the admissibility of evidence sought to be locked away safely in another country; and it is the story of the role played by the rule of law in sustaining a democratic state.
‘Too much lip’ by Melissa Lugashenko. Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things - her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she's an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley. Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble - but then trouble is Kerry's middle name.
Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible.
The book has won many recent Awards including the 2019 Miles Franklin Award, 2019 Stella Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Indigenous Writing.
‘Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice’ by Bill Browder. The New York Times review of this book opens this way: The [author] grandson of the head of the American Communist Party commits the ultimate act of rebellion: He gets a business degree from Stanford. From there, he goes on to build the biggest hedge fund in Russia. After exposing widespread government corruption, he gets expelled from the country. While he’s gone, the Kremlin raids his fund and perpetrates an elaborate financial fraud. The lawyer investigating the crime is tortured and dies in prison. He avenges his lawyer’s death, exposing a cover-up at the highest levels of the Putin regime.
That lawyer/tax adviser was Sergei Magnitsky. The client/author, Bill Browder, avenges his death in a way that honours Magnitsky’s life, courage and integrity: he lobbies for legislation, passed in 2016 by the US Congress, the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the US Government to sanction foreign government officials implicated in human rights abuses anywhere in the world. The New Yorker (Joshua Yaffa, ‘How Bill Browder Became Russia’s Most Wanted Man’, August 13, 2018) explains how this book serves as a form of life insurance for Browder:
Since the Magnitsky Act passed, the Russian government has charged Browder with myriad crimes and has periodically tried to lodge warrants for his arrest via Interpol. “Their main objective is to get me back to Russia,” Browder has said. “And they only have to get lucky once. I have to be lucky every time.” In 2012, in Surrey, England, Alexander Perepilichny, one of Browder’s chief sources of information on the movement of the stolen funds, collapsed while jogging near his home and died. The case is still under investigation. Browder, who has taken to relating to as large an audience as possible the danger he faces, has called this “a perfect example of why you don’t want to be an anonymous guy who drops dead.”
The legislation has implications for acts such as the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. No immunity!
‘The Testaments’ by Margaret Atwood. A sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood once again utilises the dystopian reality of Gilead to reveal insightful criticisms of today’s society. The role and debasement of women and minorities are again explored with the novel set approximately fifteen years after the events of the original story. The novel has been awarded the Man Booker Prize for 2019.
‘Australia Day’ by Melanie Cheng. The publisher’s text to describe this book says that Australia Day is ‘a collection of stories by debut author Melanie Cheng. The people she writes about are young, old, rich, poor, married, widowed, Chinese, Lebanese, Christian, Muslim. What they have in common—no matter where they come from—is the desire we all share to feel that we belong. The stories explore universal themes of love, loss, family and identity, while at the same time asking crucial questions about the possibility of human connection in a globalised world.’
It has won or been short or long-listed for a raft of important prizes, including Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction 2018, longlisted for the Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction 2018, ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2018, Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year 2018 and the Dobbie Literary Award for a first time published author 2018, to name a few.
‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker. An epistolary novel, it documents the life of Celie - an uneducated African American girl, turned empowered woman, at the hands of unrelenting physical, sexual and emotional abuse. The Color Purple is a fierce feminist work that exhumes the pervasive undercurrent of inequality born of race, class, gender and sexuality.
‘There Are No Children Here’ by Alex Kotlowitz. A moving, albeit devastating account of two children, brothers, struggling to overcome their impoverished origins of Chicago’s public housing. There are No Children Here explores the growth of emotional and academic intelligence, amidst a backdrop of heinous crimes and all forms of neglect.
We are keen for you to read as many of these books as possible. And in depth. So, we invite you to write a 1,000-word reflection on one of these books for 20 ROJ points. You might get a group together to discuss the book to sharpen your reflection. And you might want to write a reflection on more than one book. However, to ensure that you enjoy the richness of ROJ offerings under the program, there is a cap on the number of books you can acquire ROJ points for over a period of one year—two books and 40 ROJ points
Feel free to write a reflection on our past books including: ‘East West Street” by Philippe Sands, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, 'The Tall Man' by Chloe Hooper, 'This Changes Everything' by Naomi Klein, 'Talking To My Country', by Stan Grant, ‘Dark Emu, Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?’ by Bruce Pascoe, The Children Act’ by Ian McEwan, ‘We are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler, ‘This House of Grief’ by Helen Garner (here’s a few thought starters), ‘Exit West’ by Mohsin Hamid or ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro (here’s a few points for discussion).
Brennan Justice Photography Competition 2020
The Brennan Justice Photography Competition is now open to all students registered in the Brennan Program.
To enter, take a photograph that depicts a clear justice image. The parameters are broad - the photo can capture a staged or genuine image, but it must portray a justice issue that you feel strongly about.
All students who submit a photo will receive 10 ROJ points.
There are two prize categories: an overall winner and second prize winner selected by a panel of judges, and a 'People's Choice' winner selected by votes on social media.
Photos will be judged on:
- Justice message
- Artistic competence
- Overall impact
The winner of the competition will receive:
- An additional 10 ROJ points (equalling 20 in total for the Photo Competition)
- A gift voucher to The School of Life (self-development and philosophy classes)
- A gift voucher to Folonomo (a profit for purpose restaurant - all profits donated to charitable causes)
- Brennan Program Prize Pack
The runner-up of the competition (second prize) will receive:
- Palace Cinema voucher
- Brennan Program Prize Pack
The 'People's Choice' winner will receive:
- Brennan Program Prize Pack
- Upload your photo to the 'Brennan Justice Photography Competition' section of CareerHub
- Complete the entry form on CareerHub under the "Brennan Justice Photography Competition" section.
- Make sure you read the guidelines and agree to the Terms and Conditions (there are CareerHub instructions in the guidelines)
Entries close 5pm Friday, 4 September 2020
Check out our amazing winners from the 2019 Photo Competition below:
Dain Thomas for "No Entry", a powerful image about the injustice that Australia's Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples have faced since colonisation.
2019 People's Choice Award
Shana Vithushana for "Modern Slavery", a reflection of global capitalism.
The Allens Neota UTS Law Tech Challenge for Social Justice
In 2016, the Brennan Justice and Leadership Program launched a free program in conjunction with Allens and Neota Logic to teach students how to develop apps that perform essential functions for non-profit organisations. In this innovative program, students and staff from Allens will work as teams with a non-profit organisation to build a Smart App to solve a real and pressing problem. This highly sought after opportunity is only available to students registered with the Brennan Program. The program will run from March – August, culminating in a public competition for the best app. The 100 hours accumulated on the program can be claimed as LTS hours.
Learn more about the Allens Neota UTS Law Tech Challenge for Social Justice.
Applications for 2020 close on Monday 9th September 2019, Law student expressions of interest can be submitted here. For any enquiries, please email the Brennan team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successful candidates will be invited to the 2020 Law Tech Challenge Launch Event which will take place Monday 11th November 2019.
30 Day #SmartWaste Challenge
From 2020 UTS is going plastic-free.
As the next generation of movers and shakers, we’re encouraging Brennan students to think about this now by signing up for a fun 30 Day #SmartWaste Challenge during October 2019. The main objective of the Challenge is for participants to take steps towards eliminating single-use plastics from their lives for 30 days.
There are two main aspects to this Challenge:
- #SmartWaste Challenge Pledge - 5 ROJ points
- #SmartWaste Challenge Reflection – 5 ROJ Points
Students have the chance to accumulate at least 10 ROJ points during the period, and more depending on their level of engagement. There are also prizes!
Read the FAQ sheet for full Challenge details, and the launch of Vieple (our new video tool!).
When does this year’s challenge kick-off?
This year the challenge ran from Tuesday 1st October 2019 – Wednesday 30th October 2019. This successful challenge will be offered again in 2021.