Banksia winner heading to Supreme Court

November 24, 2017

Pathway to success: Daniel Gould receives his Banksia Association Honours Scholarship from Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen

Pathway to success: Daniel Gould receives his Banksia Association Honours Scholarship from Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen

Murdoch University student Daniel Gould will shortly be commencing a prestigious position at WA’s Supreme Court after winning this year’s Banksia Association Honours Scholarship valued at $10,000.

Daniel was presented with his award at the annual Banksia Association dinner recently and spoke about his long and varied career path into law.

Beginning in New Zealand raising calves and dairy farming, Daniel switched to the New Zealand police force where he found himself working in the traumatic aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.

Seeking a life change, Daniel’s next move was to work on a wheat farm in outback WA, before the travel bug took him to a Jewish summer camp in North Carolina.

A return to Australia found him driving a water truck for 14 hours a day at a Pilbara mine site, before he moved on again and began assessing Perth rubbish truck drivers.

Long and uneventful hours in the passenger seat were the catalyst for some career reflection.

“It was during this time when a friend asked me if I could do anything I wanted, not thinking about all of the requirements that it takes, what would I do?  I told him I had always thought it would be great to be a lawyer,” said Daniel.

Nobody in his family had ever gone to university and tertiary education seemed a fanciful idea.  The more time he was in a truck however, the more Daniel began to entertain the idea.

Within a few months he was enrolled at Murdoch University studying for a Bachelor of Law.

He continued to work nearly full time while studying at university, a juggling act that was challenging to manage.

“I was determined to pass the first semester, as I was terrified that I would fail.  However, to my shock, not only did I pass, but I got a letter from the Dean saying that I had topped three units!” added Daniel.

Now in his final year, Daniel recently had an opportunity to go to the UN in Geneva to study human rights. He has just handed in his thesis on contract law in Australia.

It focuses on remedies for breach of contract, and in particular the remedy of specific performance.  The remedy of specific performance is an order from a court compelling a party to actually perform their obligations under the contract.

Daniel’s thesis compares the current Australian position with that of other jurisdictions including Germany, Denmark, and New Zealand.

“To put it simply, my thesis is about actually forcing someone to honour their word, instead of being able to get out of it by paying money,” explained Daniel.

The Banksia Association Honours Scholarship was established to encourage Murdoch’s highest achieving students to continue their education at the University by providing them with financial assistance during their Honours year.

Since awarding the first scholarship in 2009, Banksia Association members have contributed up to $230,000 to the Banksia Association Scholarship Fund. So far ten scholarships, each worth $10,000 have been presented.

From fighting cancer to clinical psychology, the Banksia Association has shaped the lives of its recipients, many of whom could not have conducted an Honours project without financial support.

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Media contact: Jo Manning
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