21 June 2017

A high-achieving University of Queensland student has been awarded an internationally renowned scholarship in recognition of her leadership abilities and community involvement.

The Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs Award recognises second-year Bachelor of Arts/Law student Linden Peacock’s community work in pursuit of gender equality.

The global scholarship – established in 1990 by UQ law alumnus and former Queensland Governor Leneen Forde – recognises women aged 16 to 19 who demonstrate strong leadership and a genuine commitment to public service and civic engagement.

Ms Peacock said the award reinforced her determination to end gender inequality – the main focus of her community work.

“I believe that many human rights issues are inherently gender based,” she said.

“One of my great passions is working to solve this inequality, so it’s incredibly humbling to receive this award from such a large, established international organisation with a rich history of empowering women across the globe.”

Chief among Ms Peacock’s many accomplishments is her volunteer work with the One Woman Project, a youth-led not-for-profit founded by UQ Arts/Law alumnus Madeline Price that focuses on educating the community on gender equality.

After spending 18 months mentoring high school students with the project, Ms Peacock was appointed the organisation’s National Director of People and Culture.

Ms Peacock is the Queensland Human Resources Director for UN Youth Australia.

At UQ, she mentors first-year students through the UQLS buddy program and the HASS Crew project.

Ms Peacock said it was important for young women to strive for leadership roles and set an example for future generations.

“From a young age, women are told they can do anything – that they can be the next Prime Minister – but every step of the way they’re actively discouraged from getting there,” she said.

“So when women are given the skills and knowledge to take on positions of power, it’s really important that they take that opportunity.

“If there aren’t more women – and more people of colour, and people with disabilities, and so on – in public life, young people won’t think it’s possible for them. You can’t be what you can’t see.” 

Head of School and Dean of Law Professor Sarah Derrington said Ms Peacock’s success was a testament to the calibre of UQ law students. 

“Our students are some of the best and brightest in Australia, and we are very fortunate to have a hand in shaping their future,” she said.

“Ms Peacock follows in the footsteps of many of our women alumni, including The Honourable Leneen Forde AC, who helped pave the way for women in leadership positions in the public service.”

Ms Peacock, who majors in International Relations and Public Policy, and also studies a Diploma in Languages majoring in Korean, said her career ambitions were sky high.

“I really hope to tackle gender inequality on a global scale, specifically violence against women and children,” she said.

“The ultimate goal is to create policy change and find my place on the international stage.”

Ms Peacock’s Zonta scholarship – valued at US $1000 – will support her participation in public life. She will attend an official Zonta awards ceremony and speak at the organisation’s annual conference this year.

Media: Alysha Hilevuo, a.hilevuo@uq.edu.au, +61 7 334 69349, +61 (0) 428 884 097.