For Sarin, helping people has been in her nature from an early age. Coming from an Armenian background, her family have always advocated for those who are less fortunate, and her community has encouraged her to be selfless. So it comes as no surprise that volunteering at The National Justice Project was a natural fit for Sarin Zaitounian.
“We have had a traumatic history, where 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the Armenian Genocide – so I feel like I have been born into being an activist and to pursue social justice.”
“We are still advocating for the cause and trying to educate people about what happened to us. This is where my passion and interest in human rights and social justice issues stems from.”
Sarin maintains close links to the Armenian community in Australia and in Armenia. In 2016 and 2018 Sarin volunteered in Armenia, where she spent time with disadvantaged children teaching English and raising funds for the local communities.
“I reap a lot of personal benefits from that,” Sarin explained, “and I think that it further drove my passion for helping people and for advocating for anyone who doesn’t have a voice.”
Sarin joined the National Justice Project in June 2020, allowing her to gain valuable experience as a law student. She knew this was a great opportunity to explore the realm of law in a way where she could continue to help people.
“I could really resonate with the cause, the meaning and the core values of the firm. It aligns with my personal and my cultural values coming from a minority background.”
Through her experience at National Justice Project, Sarin now shares a strong passion for Australian social justice and human rights issues – something that she had not always been aware of.
“I definitely was not as informed as I should or could have been, so I am really thankful for the opportunity and the National Justice Project for bringing that to light to me. I will forever be involved in creating awareness for these issues in any way that I can.”
But it is the feeling of helping people that is the best reward, Sarin explains, and she finds inspiration and motivation through playing a part in making the lives of others better.
“I think that intangible feeling of making someone’s life better is the best thing about it. Being in their corner and advocating for them itself is the greatest reward you can take out of this legal internship.”