Mangalore, Oct 31, 2014: Jessica Annamaree Lobo, is a young Australian of Mangalorean roots, born and bred in Sydney Australia. After very laudable academic achievements she has pursued a multifaceted life in Australia and Europe. She was admitted and sworn-in at the Supreme Court of New South Wales (NSW) Sydney, as a registered lawyer on October 10th, 2014, which is a unique achievement by any measure.
As an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities from migrant and refugee backgrounds at a Sydney-based NGO she has gained maturity far beyond her years . She has also had training in public policy development and has studied Law and Arts (Italian studies major) at Macquarie university Sydney and Universita Di Bologna, Italy. Jessica aims to join the Australian Public Service or practice discrimination and/or family law. She would also like to become a yoga instructor on the side! She is a vivacious and friendly personality. She said, ’It is easy to be popular. It is not easy to be just".
She has been a regular visitor to India and specially Mangalore the home town of her parents, she admires temples and historic places. She knows many languages, even a bit of Konkani, she not only loves this region but is very fond of the Mangalore food. Her father who has been her mentor is Principal of St.Aloysius Junior School, Milson’s Point, Sydney (See ’Mangalore Today’ - February 2012). Her mother worked with the ’Sydney Morning Herald’ and later in the administration of NSW University School of Nursing.
On her last visit in December 2013, one of her special concerns was "Navchetan" Special School at Venur. Ms. Jessica has been interested in similar special institutions and has volunteered as a care giver in India, Italy and Australia. Her basic observation on the institute was, "On a positive note the reforms in Australia to disability support are fair, thanks to disability rights organizations as well as government organizations for bi-partisan support. Perhaps lacking in India is the advocacy, information and awareness in the wider community that is needed to quash some of the taboos about disability in Indian society. Perhaps the Indian public could prioritise funding of valuable special institutions and the rights of people with disability as is slowly being achieved in Australia. Funding is a key to giving people with disabilities greater choice and control in their lives".
On the singular honour for a young lady, she very simply states, "My admission to the Supreme Court of New South Wales as a registered lawyer has been one of my special aims. It was truly memorable day filled with pride, joy and a great sense of achievement". Indeed may she achieve greater heights in her future ahead.
I J Saldanha Shet