Former Powell River resident finds her niche in Australian law

Amelia Gordon graduated with a degree and now practices in Canberra, Australia

Powell River will always have a place in Amelia Gordon’s heart, even if she lives half a world away.

“I am really fond of Powell River; everyone mentions the beauty of it, but I think it’s more about the community,” said Gordon from her home in Canberra, Australia. “I’ve watched what’s going on in Powell River online, and in the last four or five years I’ve noticed people are really taking care of each other. Perhaps it’s due to the city’s isolation, but I just haven’t seen the same caring and togetherness in other communities I’ve lived in. It’s unusual, and I really appreciate that, more now than when I was a teenager.”

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Gordon first moved to Powell River when she was in grade five, and more recently spent her high school years here, graduating in 2011.

“I was born in Canada, but grew up in both Canada and Australia, because my mom is Canadian and my dad is Australian,” she said. “We moved to Powell River in the late 2000s, and my parents have lived there ever since.”

After high school, Gordon returned to Australia.

“I always wanted to go back to Australia, so a month after high school, I got on a plane,” she added.

Gordon worked as a court stenographer in Sydney for two years, an experience that inspired her to study law at university.

“As a stenographer, I watched how the law plays out and how it impacts people’s lives, and that really interested me,” said Gordon. “As a child, I was always deeply committed to what was right and just, so this felt like the right path for me.”

Gordon was recently called to the bar in the Australian Capital Territory. She is currently working with a national law firm, rotating through different kinds of law to gain experience in her graduate year.

“I have completed a rotation in administration law, where I helped clients interpret government legislation,” she said. “In many cases, the laws we looked at had never been examined before, and I found it very engaging.

“In my new rotation, I am working with insurance companies on litigation. It’s very strategic and fast-paced, which is interesting in a different way. I’ll be working in this area until February, when I’ll switch again.”

Gordon said she hopes to be hired on once her graduate year is complete, but she is also looking further into the future.

“At some point, I’d love to return to Canada, so I’ve started the process to get my law degree recognized in British Columbia. It can take a while and means I’ll have to write a few more tests, but if I do well, I’ll be able to practice law in Canada as well.”

While for now her life is in Australia, Gordon remains connected to the city she grew up in.

“I try to stay involved as much as I can, living half a world away,” she said. “Powell River really is special. There’s a real sense of community and a place to belong, and you don’t find that very often.”

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