The link between the studying of European history and the practice of commercial law in Sydney is not obvious at first glance. However, former Head Boy, Oliver Barron, believes that his time spent in teacher Hamish Faulls’ classroom learning History and Classics, has equipped him with the necessary skills for his job as a banking and finance lawyer at the international law firm, Allen & Overy.
He says New Zealand and Australia’s legal systems are based on what is called the ‘common law’, a system in which judges apply and refine historical principles over time. This process ensures the law remains applicable to modern times. Oliver sees his History and Classics studies being based on similar ideas. “These subjects similarly involve understanding historical concepts, whether that be art, architecture, or politics, and then appreciating how they continue to manifest in the world today.”
After finishing his Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in International Politics and Criminology) in Germany earlier this year, Oliver travelled to some of the locations he studied in History and Classics. “The knowledge I gained in these subjects certainly made my travels – from Munich to Macedonia – far more enjoyable.”