Honouring a friend's legacy

MLS alumni Nick Boyd-Caine and Zan Mazharullah have established a scholarship in memory of their classmate and good friend, Daniel Wright.

Nick and Zan

Nick Boyd-Caine (BA 2006, JD 2015) and Zan Mazharullah (JD 2014) share a warm and jovial camaraderie, where easy jokes and self-deprecation belie keen intelligence and a passion for social justice.

Among the many things they have in common is a deep respect for their friend and former classmate Daniel Wright, who sadly passed away in 2012 while studying the Juris Doctor at MLS.

Along with family and friends of Mr Wright, Nick and Zan have established the Daniel B Wright Scholarship to provide financial assistance to JD students passionate about public law.

Nick and Zan met Dan Wright in their first week studying Legal Method and Reasoning at MLS. Dan had just returned from volunteering at an orphanage in Vietnam and his outgoing, confident personality made a strong impression.

“The class was a melting pot of students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Amongst the sea of talent was Dan’s well-travelled insight which, at every turn, added to class discussions and injected praxis into what might otherwise be fairly dry reading,” Zan said.

“He was always quick to smile or laugh, and loved to get to know people; their interests, their passions and what made them tick,” Nick said.

Dan’s drive was an inspiration to his fellow students, according to Nick and Zan. He had a well-developed passion for public law and social justice issues, became involved with the Melbourne Journal of International Law and volunteered with community legal centers.

Dan’s sudden and tragic passing in late 2012 left a big gap in their lives.

“Dan was passionate, but also someone who led by example. Being around him, listening to him talk about his own goals, hopes and fears allowed me to start crystallising what I actually wanted to do with my career,” Nick said.

“His death brought that into stark focus. I think much of the way in which I think about the law, and my work within it, has been shaped by seeing someone who was so clear and dedicated, and trying to emulate that example.”

The idea for the Daniel B Wright Scholarship came about as a way to honour Dan’s memory in a way that could affect change aligned with his passion and interest.

“We hope that the scholarship will support students interested in this area and remove, or at least lower, barriers that might otherwise prevent them from pursuing a career in public law,” Zan said.

Nick has two goals for the scholarship – to honour Dan the person, so that “all of the fun and humour and goodness that went into Dan can be remembered, enjoyed and talk about”, and to continue his legacy.

“Dan saw the law as the tool by which he could make a difference, but he was denied that chance,” Nick said.

“Ideally, the Scholarship can continue his mission by putting students who are passionate about public law and social justice issues in a position to learn and grow and engage – to make the difference that he would have.”

More information about the Daniel B Wright Scholarship is available by contacting Austin Van Groningen, Development Officer, via email or on +613 8344 7218.

By Sam Johnstone

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