Born and raised in Western Sydney, Khushaal Vyas went from wanting to be a doctor, an actor and everything in between, to enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UNSW. He satisfied his medical aspirations by binge-watching Scrubs and continues to fulfil his desire to be an actor by dabbling in Bollywood choreography every now and then.
However, it was ultimately his interest in policy and politics – and a little inspiration from a family member – that motivated Khushaal to study law.
“I found myself following policy, politics and law very closely. I was also lucky enough to see some of the social work and the role law can play through my aunt’s advocacy work in India,” Khushaal says.
Khushaal says he chose Law at UNSW based on the Faculty’s pursuit of social justice, something he feels very passionate about. He says the Law School’s social justice projects and initiatives provided some of the most memorable and rewarding aspects of his degree.
“Studying Law at UNSW also promised and delivered a degree that had both practical learning opportunities by way of practical legal work, competitions and international electives, which took learning out from a textbook and promised to expose us to the real world.”
UNSW Law Society offered invaluable experience
Khushaal found being part of the UNSW Law Society extremely invaluable and enriching. He was Vice-President (Social Justice) in 2016 and President in 2017.
“Being involved in the Law Society was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of my time at UNSW. From an organisational level, it allowed me to represent the interests of students at national conferences and to be part of a team of elected students to voice student concerns and desires to the Australian Law Students Association.
“With the support of the society and the Faculty, I helped establish a volunteer initiative to work with Indigenous organisations, schools and youth mentoring programs in the Dubbo and Trangie area. The program allowed students to use their skills and bring them outside of the classroom to help highlight the issues and social injustice that still face many communities in Australia.”
To raise awareness of the issues faced by the Dubbo and Trangie communities, Khushaal worked with a team of students to create a documentary about the volunteer initiative. The documentary screened at various legal and non-legal based institutions.
“I’ve been lucky enough to continue the project since I started working at Baker McKenzie, and I hope to remain part of this community work for many more years to come,” he says.
“Besides working with immensely talented, intelligent and thoughtful peers, the project has resulted in a very special connection with the Dubbo-Trangie area. I remain very close with many of the people I’ve had the chance to work with there, and seeing their work continues to be a massive source of inspiration. But perhaps the most important reason why it will be especially memorable is that the project remains a proud reminder of how, even as students, we have the capacity to get involved and have a practical impact.”
“I hope to continue the community work in Dubbo and maintain the partnerships and friendships over there and ideally expand into youth mentoring programs. While balancing the full-time work will be very different, my main goal is to be able to continue my involvement with community projects and other co-curricular activities.
“While I’m excited about the next chapter, I’m definitely sad about leaving UNSW. I owe a great deal to the University and the Law School for providing me with the opportunities I’ve had – the fruits of which I’m still enjoying today and will continue to enjoy well into the future.”