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We officially launched the 2022 William Ah Ket Scholarship on Wednesday evening at the Peter O'Callaghan QC Gallery in Melbourne, where a portrait can be viewed of William Ah Ket, Australia’s first barrister of Chinese descent together with an exhibition of memorabilia about him.

The Honourable Michael Black AC QC, former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia gave an evocative keynote speech through His Honour’s anecdotes about Mr Ah Ket that we have not heard before including the circumstances in which His Honour came into possession of Mr Ah Ket’s nominate law reports.

This year, we are supported by all three institutions where Mr Ah Ket has journeyed through his trailblazing legal career – law firm Maddocks, as founding sponsor, and the University of Melbourne Law School and the Victorian Bar, as supporting partners.

The winner of the Scholarship will receive $6,000. A further $1,000 prize will be given to each of the two shortlisted entrants. Shortlisted entrants will also have the opportunity to meet senior legal professionals and members of the judiciary during the Award Ceremony in Brisbane on 1 December 2022.

Expressions of interest to submit an essay are open until 5 pm on Thursday 7 July 2022.

The deadline for submitting an Application Form and original unpublished paper is 5 pm on Monday 29 August 2022.

For more information on the William Ah Ket Scholarship, head to the AALA website.

If you have any queries, please email us at

Photographs courtesy of the Victorian Bar and Peter Bongiorno Photography.


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