‘Believe in your own ability’ is the advice from this year’s Law Institute of Victoria award winner.
Deakin law student Beau Arnfield, joint-winner of this year’s Law Student of the Year accolade at the 15th Victorian Legal Awards, believes that being unafraid to fail is a crucial stepping stone to success.
As a high-achieving Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts student, Beau holds a diverse range of roles and responsibilities across both Deakin and the wider global community but says winning the prestigious award still came as an overwhelming surprise.
‘It’s an indescribable feeling and I am still in shock. When I heard my name read out I couldn’t believe it. I can remember reading about students who had previously won “Law Student of the Year” and was just blown away by their achievements and accomplishments – I could only dream about being in their shoes.’
Hosted by the Law Institute Victoria (LIV), the annual event recognises outstanding achievements across the state’s legal profession in 16 categories including regional, city, boutique and large law firms.
Beau may have thought he could only dream about achieving such an award but in reality he’s notched up some remarkable accomplishments during his four and half years at Deakin.
Co-founder of the social enterprise company Spair Pair (which provides ethical and sustainable basic necessities for those living in poverty), he also holds an executive position within the first Australian United Nations Youth Action Hub, has been nominated for the Westfield 2019 ‘Local Hero’ Award and has an invitation to present at a TEDx event in Melbourne.
He acknowledges that winning the LIV’s Law Student of the Year award signifies one of the ‘most incredible moments’ in his life.
‘I’ve always sought to do things that push, challenge, and allow me to grow and better understand the world we live in. Being the recipient of this award I hope to demonstrate to others that by following your passions and never being afraid to fail – seeing failure as a stepping stone towards your next success – that you can achieve things you never thought were possible,’ he says.
Now in the final year of his studies, Beau credits Deakin for providing him with personal and professional opportunities that have fostered his curiosity and broadened his global perspective.
‘One of my most incredible experiences at Deakin was when I was asked to apply to attend a Youth Conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The University’s belief in me was nothing short of incredible and it was Deakin’s staff who encouraged me to believe in my own ability. If not for their incredible support, I would not have been successful in being one of four Australians to represent our country at the forum.’
With another social enterprise organisation in the pipeline, Beau believes that so far, his life’s achievements have been made possible by ‘redefining’ his perception of failure.
‘Failure is not something we should avoid, but something we should embrace as part of the process to success. My advice to others is to take every opportunity you can and back yourself. Some of things I wanted to achieve took longer than others but had I not given myself a chance I would not be where I am today.’