From an early age, while growing up in Brunei, Lenett Hillman had a natural curiosity and open-minded attitude about the world and people from far and near.

This inquisitive approach to life continues to inform her today as a prize-winning student of Griffith Business School.

“Growing up overseas my education always had a global outlook,” says the double degree student.

“My interests lie in international affairs and studying Government and International Relations is a realisation of this interest.”

The Gold Coast resident has won the 2015 Pat Weller Prize, awarded by Griffith’s Centre for Governance and Public Policy to the highest achieving student of the Introduction to Politics course.

“I am interested in doing future research in areas such as gender politics, human rights issues, the protection of individual rights, and even the protection of the state’s interests; all of which were introduced in the course,” Lenett (19) says.

“This fed my personal interest in social justice and human rights so I was very enthusiastic about the course from the start.

“Being exposed to new ideas through courses like this is thoroughly invigorating and an important part of the education experience for a student.”

She has also complemented her study focus with a professional development course in volunteer tutoring. On completion of this TAFE course she will be helping adult migrants to develop their use of the English language as they settle into life in Australia.

“I will need to cater to their specific needs. It is volunteer work that is grounded in reality. I want to help anyone in any way that I can. This work and my global outlook are also very relevant to my law degree, which is the other half of my double degree.”

Lenett graduated from the Queensland Academy for Health Sciences in 2013 before enrolling at Griffith University.

PWsmlThe Pat Weller Prize was established in 2013 in honour of the Centre for Governance and Public Policy’s founding director, who presented the prize to Lenett at a special function to mark his formal retirement from academic life on July 31.

Griffith’s doyen of political science was keen to share the spotlight, acknowledging the company and contributions of comrades and collaborators far and near.

The function was attended by Vice Chancellor, Professor Ian O’Connor, who described Professor Weller AO as “an extraordinary colleague”.

“Pat is one of this country’s great scholars,” Professor O’Connor said.

The Head of Griffith’s School of Government and International Relations, Professor Andrew O’Neil, said Pat Weller had built and sustained a culture at Griffith University over a long period of time. “Building on that legacy is our challenge,” he said.