UNSW Law & Justice alumna Natasha Naidu is among 17 Australians awarded the 2024 Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship. The scholarship develops a researcher's leadership potential and provides funding for expenses related to study, the cost of living, and potential overseas travel. 

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is awarded to students who have a worthy and viable plan that contributes to Australia’s future. To help support the impact of research outcomes, the scholarship also provides a nine-month bespoke leadership program that will build on Natasha's personal strengths and uncover her leadership abilities.

Natasha said that to her, the scholarship means opportunity and voice.

“Opportunity to spend time doing fieldwork overseas and forming connections through Westpac’s W100 network. And voice because the scholarship will give me a platform to advocate for law reform, accelerating the reach of my work.”

Natasha’s PhD will examine how Australian law and international law have failed to protect victims of past and present forced labour practices in the Asia-Pacific region. Professor Melissa Crouch from the UNSW School of Global & Public Law will oversee the project.

“My research will identify historically and contextually informed recommendations for strengthening modern slavery legislation in Australia, which is an issue of pressing national importance,” said Natasha.

While an undergraduate student at UNSW Law & Justice, Natasha interned with the United Nations in Cambodia and undertook an exchange semester at Jindal Global Law School in India. She was also a member of the Asia Law and Policy Forum and later became active within the Asian Studies Association of Australia.

“The opportunities I had to engage with the law in Asia as an undergraduate student have prepared me well for this project,” said Natasha. “And the Faculty’s expertise in socio-legal studies in Asia makes it the perfect home for my PhD research.”

The Westpac Future Leaders program was developed to enable, connect and build the confidence and leadership capability of the nation’s best and brightest post-graduate students. For more information on the full range of scholarships available to UNSW students, visit Westpac Scholars and UNSW Scholarships