Charles Sturt University (CSU) officially launched its new Centre for Law and Justice on Thursday morning.
NSW Court of Appeal president Margaret Beazley was on hand for the opening of the centre.
Justice Beazley recognises the importance of the law and the courts in regional NSW.
“Every aspect of your life is actually affected by law and if you don’t have easy access to this, you can end up in a very expensive retention from lawyers from areas like the city,” Justice Beazley said.
“What you really need is your home-grown lawyers.
“And now students can have a high quality law degree and apply it to the community.”
On the day, Justice Beazley addressed many legal minds from across NSW, including police, lawyers and students from different universities across the state.
Along with the new centre, CSU has launched a new Bachelor of Laws degree and Justice Beazley is impressed by how hard university staff have worked to make the degree happen.
She also believes a law centre based in Bathurst will be important for helping locals.
“You need local people who understand local problems,” Justice Beazley said.
Associate professor Alison Gerard, head of the CSU Centre for Law and Justice, said the new law course is for professionals wanting to work in rural, regional and remote Australia, or in the area of indigenous issues.
While the course is in its early stages, Professor Gerard has cited some big goals in the near future for the law centre.
“In the future we want to be running honours and masters programs,” Professor Gerard said.
“We want to produce the best graduates that want to stay and practice in rural areas.”
While the course is currently all online, Professor Gerard wants to see the course move to internal study.
Many current CSU law students attended the opening, including Miriam Dayhew, a law student from Wagga Wagga.
Ms Dayhew has always wanted to study law, but is due for retirement in a few years.
“CSU offers the flexible approach with working and studying full time,” Ms Dayhew said.
Roslyn Harling, a paralegal who is from the state’s South Coast, said her background was her reason for choosing law.
“I’ve got an insurance background, so I felt a law degree would go hand-in-hand,” Ms Harling said.
For more information regarding the new Centre for Law and Justice, visit www.csu.edu.au