The Rebecca Allen Prize

The Rebecca Allen Prize for Commitment to Legal Assistance to Refugees” is awarded annually to the final year law student who makes the most significant contribution to advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers as part of the Refugee Law Project conducted under the auspices of the Thomas More Law School.

Inaugural Prize 2018

On 14 November 2018, Sydney law student Foday Sesay was awarded the Rebecca Allen Prize for Commitment to Legal Assistance for Refugees. The award was presented by barrister Victor Kline, who is a member of the NSW Bar Association’s Human Rights Committee.

Foday’s award recognises his work assisting unrepresented asylum seekers in the Federal Circuit Court, as part of the Thomas More Law School’s Refugee Law Project. The Project is established under the patronage of former High Court judge (and ACU honorary doctorate holder) Sir William Deane. Presenting the award to Foday, Victor Kline said: ‘Foday went beyond all expectations in his dedication to helping refugees and asylum seekers. Foday carried out his work with professionalism, determination and a strong sense of empathy. He is a credit to the Thomas More Law School.’

Foday, who is completing the final year of a Law / Global Studies degree, moved to Australia from Sierra Leone at the age of 23. He joined the Law School and quickly distinguished himself in mooting and negotiation competitions. Foday is about to commence a 6 month internship in Madrid organised by the European Commission. He said that the best part of his work with the Refugee Law Project was “meeting applicants, hearing about their stories and knowing that what we were doing was helping them.”

L to R – Victor Kline, Founder and Director of the Refugee Law Project; Dominic Cudmore, ACU Pro Bono Coordinator; Foday Sesay, inaugural recipient of the Rebecca Allen Prize

Some of the Inaugural Refugee Law Project team, November 2018
From L to R Standing: Professor Laurence Boulle, Victor Kline, Dominic Cudmore, Hannah Blomgren, Jayden Namroud, Frances Coyne, Foday Sesay and Professor Catherine Renshaw. Seated: Chris Nguyen and Priya Pagaddinnimath