Published on 18 September 2014
A leading Australian expert in property law has joined the University of the Sunshine Coast Law School.
Professor Pamela O’Connor’s appointment coincides with the introduction of a new double degree, the Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Property Economics and Development, at USC in 2015.
USC will be only the second university in Australia to offer a combined degree in these fields. The new program highlights the significance of property to the local region.
Professor O’Connor was a member of the Law School staff at Monash University for more than 20 years and led an inquiry into property law reform for the Victorian Law Reform Commission.
She is co-author of a leading property law textbook and a former member of the Board of the Judicial College of Victoria and the Leo Cussen Institute (a provider of practical legal training and continuing professional development).
She is one of three new academic appointments for the Law School as it prepares for its second year of operation in 2015.
“It’s very rare that an opportunity comes along to be part of establishing a new law school and course in a highly-regarded regional university,” Professor O’Connor said.
“We can build courses from the start around the very latest teaching and learning methods, technologies, library collection and teaching spaces.
“Every law student can experience work-based learning in legal practice, through the University’s relationship with the Sunshine Coast Community Legal Service Inc.”
She said the new combined degree would bridge law, planning, building, finance and property management.
“It will produce highly-qualified professionals to plan and manage the built environment.”
Professor O’Connor practised law for 11 years at various legal aid agencies, including the Fitzroy Legal Service, before becoming an academic.
Her research areas include property, sustainable management of environmental resources, administrative law and judicial administration. Her current research projects include property rights in carbon.
USC will also introduce a combined degree in Laws and Commerce (Financial Planning) next year.
The degrees are among 18 new undergraduate and postgraduate programs to be offered at USC in 2015.
USC’s School of Law will hold an information session at the Sippy Downs campus on 15 October and at Caboolture’s St Columban’s College on 23 October. For details go to USC's Law Events Page.
— Julie Schomberg