Sydney Law School student nominated for Young Australian of the Year

11 November 2008



Mimi Zou, a penultimate year Economic & Social Sciences/Law student, has been named as one of four finalists from New South Wales for Young Australian of the Year.

Mimi is one of two students from the University of Sydney nominated, alongside Craig Ashby, a 21-year-old Indigenous student from the Faculty of Education and Social Work - Sydney student Young Australian of the Year finalist

Mimi worked as a volunteer for marginalised young people in her community of Canterbury/Bankstown, particularly those from migrant, refugee and non-English speaking families.

Organising camps and holiday programs for disadvantaged young people, and helping marginalised groups in her area, such as Sudanese refugees, access basic services are just some of the activities she has been involved in for the past ten years.

Mimi's own family migrated to Australia from China "not knowing a word of English" when she was six, she said. She later attended Sydney Girls High, where she was dux of the school.

"It was quite unexpected," she said of the award. "I was ecstatic when I heard [about the nomination]. It is a really great honour to be recognised for my community work amongst such high calibre people."

Mimi has volunteered for many organisations that seek to improve access to and equality in the areas of education, employment, housing, health, law and justice.

This year she was selected as a delegate to the 2020 Youth Summit, and is currently coordinating the establishment of a community legal clinic in the University of Sydney servicing prisoners that will be entirely run by student volunteers.

The aim is to encourage students to utilise their legal education to assist those who are disadvantaged and marginalised in the community. Mimi's goal is to become an international lawyer so that she is better able to help others.

The other finalists are entrepreneur and mentor Daniel Clarke and paralympian Kurt Fearnley OAM.

Contact: Kath Kenny

Phone: +61 2 9351 2261

Email: 316c0f270a3c3275463540534a5717374f0a31