Monash International Leadership Scholarship: Gitika Sweta Manna

SwetaWith an enquiring mind, a love of debate and a mother who worked in the legal field, Gitika Sweta Manna seemed destined for law from the outset. Growing up in Mauritius, she spent some of her spare time in courts, an experience she says had a profound effect on her.

“The prevailing discipline, the experience and astuteness of the judges, the persuasive skills and confidence of the lawyers left me in awe. From a very young age, I believed the judge’s gavel exuded some kind of magic. One strike from the gavel punishes a criminal. Yet another restores justice. Another promotes democracy,” Sweta says.

Sweta completed her secondary schooling at Queen Elizabeth College and enjoyed the opportunities and trials presented by being at one of the country’s elite girl’s schools.

“The main challenge at the national college was to maintain a high standard and a consistent performance in academia, whilst at the same time giving one’s best in extra-curricular activities,” Sweta explains.

It was a challenge she negotiated with aplomb, ultimately achieving a national ranking of 10th in the field of economics after the Higher School Certificate exams. Sweta was then offered scholarships by Kent University in the UK and Monash University. She chose the Monash International Leadership Scholarship for several reasons, chief among them the chance to be something of a pioneer.

“Not many Mauritians have explored the opportunity to study law in Australia. Now that the law has changed to recognise bar exams from countries such as Australia, I shall endeavour to be a model for other Mauritians. Mauritius has a lot to learn from the evolving legal system of Australia, especially in the fields of company law, trust and insolvency laws,” Sweta says.

Now studying law at Monash, Sweta says she’s already learnt a lot.

“With its emphasis on excellence in all spheres of life, Monash has shown me the importance of discipline and focus in day-to-day life. Monash has also given me an opportunity to interact with students from all corners of the world, a truly enriching and gratifying experience. Monash has different branches in different continents; this will give me a unique opportunity to be acquainted with the laws, culture and way of living of the different continents and learn the best of them.

“A life’s journey starts with a single step and for me a degree from Monash University is this first step. I shall acquire the maximum of knowledge and experience during my stay in Monash in order to put it in practice once back home,” Sweta says.

In true Monash style, her future goals are unashamedly daring.

“I cherish the ambition of either becoming the Attorney General of Mauritius or of establishing my own international law firm to contribute to the social, economic and legal wellbeing of my country.”

Want to apply for a Monash International Leadership Scholarship?

Monash International Leadership Scholarships are based on academic achievement, and students will also be assessed on their scholarship application statement and their potential to be an ambassador for Monash University.

The scholarship covers 100 per cent of course fees* paid until the minimum number of points for the degree is completed.

Applications for the scholarship close on 31 December 2014. For more information please visit www.monash.edu/international-scholarships

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