Marikki Watego.
Marikki Watego.
18 December 2015

Marikki Watego has been a star on the touch football field while studying at The University of Queensland, and she’s now looking forward to shining while working in a city law firm.

The Australian rep touch-footballer graduated from UQ’s TC Beirne School of Law, and is one of more than 7500 students to graduate from UQ in December 2015.

And while she’s thrilled to follow-up her two-year Indigenous internship at Gadens Lawyers with a placement in the Brisbane firm’s graduate program next year, Ms Watego says she won’t be hanging up the footy boots just yet.

“It’s important to have interests outside the law, whether they are sport, music or art,” Ms Watego said.

“Not only do these interests make you unique but extracurricular activities give you transferable skills that can be used in the workplace and your studies.”

Marikki Watego.

Ms Watego has played touch football for 11 years, competitively for the past seven. She has represented both New South Wales and Queensland, was an active member of the University Touch Football Club and member of the UQ women’s AFL team.

In April this year, Ms Watego played for the Australian Open Women’s Touch Football team in the Federation of International Touch World Cup. The Australian team beat out thirteen other countries around the world for first place.  

Although she originally chose to study arts to complement her business degree, Ms Watego, quickly realised she had found her true calling in law.

“I initially started studying a Bachelor of Business Management/Arts but soon found that I had more of an interest in the law than in business as a potential career path. So I transferred to a Bachelor of Laws/Business Management,” she said.

Ms Watego, who identifies with the Yugambeh people from Beaudesert, was largely influenced by her Indigenous heritage.

“I wanted to understand the intricacies of Australian law and its effects, both positive and negative, on Indigenous people,” she said.

“I began to realise that so many aspects of the law have the potential to incite real change for Indigenous people.”

Ms Watego has studied broad subjects including family law, environmental law, commercial law, law and Indigenous people and alternative dispute resolution.

She is eager to graduate and start working in the legal industry – but not in the areas you might expect.

“While areas such as Native Title and criminal law are very relevant to Indigenous people, I’m hoping to pursue a career in commercial law,” she said.

“Specifically, I want to assist Indigenous people start and maintain their own businesses using my commercial law expertise.

“Hopefully once I have an established career I can contribute to the economic independence and confidence of Indigenous business-people by providing sound legal and commercial advice.

“I’m definitely keen to apply the knowledge I have gained from studying law at UQ to create change in real-life scenarios,” she said.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said each student graduating from UQ was gaining a qualification from a world-class university.

“UQ is consistently well inside the world’s top 100 in all major global university rankings, and two of these currently place UQ in the world’s top 50,” Professor Høj said.

Professor Høj said the December graduates would join UQ’s 232,000-strong alumni group – including more than 12,000 PhDs – in at least 170 countries.

Prospective students can see key dates for QTAC applications and offer rounds here.  

They can also contact UQ Admissions on (07) 3365 2203 or for information.

Instagram photos hashtagged #UQmemories or #UQalumni will be added to UQ’s December graduation collection.

Media: Alysha Hilevuo, 07 3346 9349,