Success is in Queensland Rhodes Scholar Caitlin Goss's genes. Ms Goss, the daughter of former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss, sister of 2007 Queensland Rhodes Scholar Ryan Goss and granddaughter of 1927 scholar Konrad Hirschfeld was announced the winner of the prestigious scholarship to Oxford University for 2009.

Ms Goss graduated from UQ with a Bachelor of Arts (first-class honours)/Bachelor of Laws, was awarded a University Medal in 2006 and graduated from Brisbane Girls Grammar School with an OP 1 in 2001. Even with distinguished roots, Ms Goss had humble expectations of herself. “The other applicants were terrifyingly impressive,” she said. “It was surreal when I first heard I had won. “I got out and called my mother. She was a bit teary.” In September 2009, she travelled to Oxford University to study a Bachelor of Civil Laws, allowing her to expand her knowledge of post-conflict law reform.

Work experience with the Australian Law Reform Commission had shown her how law reform could have an impact on the community through improving the laws surrounding issues such as medical privacy and the sentencing of criminals. Ms Goss hoped her studies would allow her to help set up new legal systems in countries recovering from war. “I'm interested in law reform in general and in the immediate term see myself practicing this overseas in post-conflict situations,” she said. “In the longer term I'd love to come back to Australia and apply what I've learned.”

Ms Goss said she won the award through the support of many people in the UQ community. “What's so nice about the award is that I can share it with a number of people who have been my mentors and teachers,” she said. “At UQ, Dr Michelle Boulous-Walker, Dr Jon Crowe and Professor Suri Ratnapala have been such a great help and support and an inspiration as a part of my studies.”

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