Sophie Ryan, a University of Queensland graduate and advocate for social justice has been named a 2020 Australia-at-large Rhodes Scholar.

Ms Ryan recently graduated with a Bachelors of Arts/Laws (First Class Honours) and will join a small group of exceptional individuals around the world to receive the prestigious scholarship which includes support for full-time studies at the University of Oxford. Rhodes Scholars are selected on the basis of their intellect, character, leadership ability and commitment to service. Ms Ryan, who focused on peacebuilding, conflict resolution and the interplay of religion and peace during her studies, said she was stunned to learn she had been named a Rhodes Scholar. “This still feels so surreal – the opportunity to progress my studies in international conflict and dispute resolution at Oxford is overwhelming,” Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan already has a number of accolades and achievements under her belt. During her time at UQ she was awarded a George Georges Research Scholarship and was named a New Colombo Scholar. She joins recent UQ Rhodes Scholars Indigenous lawyer Jordan English and engineer Nicholas Salmon. “It would be remiss of me to not mention all of the people, from my teachers to my peers who not only supported me but challenged me to be more. I am only here today because of them.”

In her home town of Toowoomba, Ms Ryan has also been an active advocate against domestic violence and was a founding member of Toowoomba Together. Ms Ryan plans to commence at Oxford in September 2020 and hopes to undertake a Bachelor of Civil Law and subsequently a Master of Philosophy in Law. Ms Ryan is currently an associate to the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission, Justice Sarah Derrington.

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