Written by Julia Day

When Anthony attended his Royal Australian Air Force graduation, he was accompanied by his dad. Anthony’s dad was a Warrant Officer with the Australian Army for 40 years. His dad, who had never had any formal tertiary education, said to his son – ‘I don’t understand the university stuff you have done, but I really understand this.’ Anthony never felt prouder than he did that day as his dad has always been his idol.

Anthony is one of life’s treasures. He is incredibly bright, accomplished and academically gifted. He is also extremely personable, humble and dedicated to helping law students achieve their educational goals. He impressed me straight away with his attitude and humanity- he noted- ‘the best advice I can give students is to learn that everything is human. When in legal practice, remember that your client/s may be scared of going to jail or terrified they will not see their kids again!! Always remember this!’

Anthony has kindly accepted an invitation from the UNE Law Students’ Society to speak at the forthcoming Law Ball. Anthony, to say the least, has had a very distinguished and interesting career. He first completed a political science degree after finishing high school. After a time as the Director of Research with the Australian Senate, Anthony decided to fulfil his lifelong dream of studying law. He quickly realised that as an online/external student, #UNELaw was the best choice for him. Whilst completing his law degree, he had an epiphany and decided to join the Royal Australian Air Force. He later was employed as Counsel assisting the Queensland Coroner whilst working as a barrister.

Anthony has now joined with a former military comrade to run their own law firm, Pacific Maritime Lawyers, where he acts as both a solicitor and an advocate. In order to ‘scratch his teaching itch’ he also lectures at James Cook University.

Many people will know of Anthony from his popular You Tube channel. Anthony works hard to deliver legal content in a palatable and interesting way. His You Tube channel was conceived after Anthony’s students asked him to place his teaching videos on the popular social platform. When he published a clip entitled ‘Explaining Contract Law in 2 hours’ the channel exploded with popularity.  Since then it has grown considerably and it has a reach across the world. As Anthony noted ‘Oxford and Cambridge always had the tradition of undertaking public lectures for everyone. This is my way of maintaining the same traditions.’  

What Anthony likes most about the impact of his You Tube channel is that it is open to everyone.’ ‘I have been contacted by young women in places like Nigeria and Kenya who have listened to my You Tube clips. They don’t have access to tertiary education or universities, but they have internet access. These women have searched the internet- thirsty for knowledge- and they come across free educational content such as mine. No amount of money can give you the satisfaction this gives me!!!’

Anthony gifting a toy koala to a child in Cambodia

Anthony was thrilled when he found out that the Law Ball is a fundraiser for the Armidale Women’s Homelessness Centre. Anthony is a strong advocate for the protection and safety of vulnerable women. When he worked with the Queensland State Coroner, Anthony was involved in the inquest relating to Noelene Beutel’s death. Noelene had been brutally murdered by her romantic partner after a history of domestic violence. Whilst alive Noelene had looked for help in order to safely exit the relationship- but she had no success. The inquest into her death had a considerable impact on Anthony. He had never before been in a situation where domestic violence was tolerated. For him it was like looking into another community. 

His interest in helping vulnerable women was further piqued after visiting Cambodia. Anthony described going to Cambodia as like ‘coming home!!’ ‘When I was in Cambodia, I became acquainted with the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre, the CWCC, who run shelters in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang. This Centre provides shelter for women escaping domestic violence and for those escaping trafficking for sexual purposes. They provide health care and vocational courses. The women are given a future with economic independence, away from the exploitation they have suffered throughout their lives.’

Anthony eating tarantulas in Cambodia

After learning about the CWCC’s important work, Anthony set himself a challenge to raise money for them. He told supporters that if he reached his fundraising target- he would eat three tarantulas whilst in Cambodia. In the end he raised enough money to run the shelter for a month and- of course- he fulfilled his challenge and ate three tarantulas!!!

When Anthony studied law at #UNELaw, his favourite lecturers were Professor Eilis Magner, Associate Professor Cameron Moore, Bronwen Jackman and Dr Eric Ghosh.

Eilis is a legend around the Law School and was one of Anthony’s teaching heroes. In fact, Anthony tries to emulate Eilis’ teaching style. Anthony notes ‘Eilis clearly wanted her students to succeed. She was a brilliant communicator. Even though she was often laughing and joking around, she was razor sharp. She was a champion bridge player for a reason!!’

‘At one of Eilis’ residential schools, another student and I had accidentally prepared the same topic. Eilis, with a cheeky grin, said to me ‘Marinac- we both know you can present on the other topic tomorrow. Go home and get it done and I will see you tomorrow. Of course, I happily acquiesced and presented on the topic the next day.’

Anthony was lucky enough to have #UNELaw’s Dr Eric Ghosh as both his lecturer in Administrative Law and then as a supervisor for his Master’s thesis. ‘Eric is soft spoken and understated. When focusing on the jurisprudential principles in my Master’s thesis, he didn’t allow me to be lazy. Instead he badgered me about tightening up my material and making it more defensible.’

In relation to UNE overall, Anthony notes- ‘UNE is exceptional when it comes to external/online teaching. In particular they are masters as creating learning opportunities.’

Make sure you grab your tickets to the #UNELaw Ball, which is taking place on the 23rd July. Aside from the delicious meal and fantastic company, you will also be inspired by amazing people such as Dr Anthony Marinac!!