University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Law student Jozef Erece is on track to becoming the youngest lawyer in Australia and New Zealand at only 16 years of age.
While in school Jozef was accelerated three years and graduated as valedictorian of his senior year at St Peter’s Catholic School in Cambridge. At age 11 Jozef passed on an opportunity to skip high school and enrol in Stanford University’s Institutes Program in the USA after participating in an online education program for gifted youth.
Already 6 foot 2 inches tall, Jozef is also a natural at basketball and is the youngest athlete competing in the Greater Brisbane League Gold, a semi-pro level tournament in Australia and has been invited to play for the Nike All-Australian tour to the United States. He was also the youngest Taekwondo Instructor in New Zealand and currently holds a Third Dan/Degree Black Belt from the Kukkiwon World Taekwondo Headquarters in Korea. An accomplished violinist, Jozef played with the Waikato Youth Orchestra and Saint John’s Sacred Heart College combined Orchestra in New Zealand. Jozef said his family moved from New Zealand to Australia following high school to widen his academic and career horizons.
“I chose to study Law at USQ because of its proximity to my home and the systems it has in place to ensure maximum accessibility, including the option of learning off-campus,” Jozef said. “Being able to study off-campus when needed allows for my continuous progression, even if I’m away for other commitments such as basketball. USQ Springfield has a relaxed pace, closer to what I was used to in New Zealand which means I can maintain the flow of a quality education without having to deal every day with the hustle and bustle of the city.”
Jozef chose to study Law because of his passion for justice and a desire to contribute to the industry’s evolution, one day creating a justice system that is ideal in every person’s mind. “When finished studying, I am considering pursuing a clerkship in the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General,” he said. “I’d also like to continue with postgraduate qualifications in Law further on, including a PhD.”
With a seemingly full plate, Jozef still finds time to relax and unwind by playing the violin and practicing creative writing. He also enjoys spending time with his parents and sister, Maynah, who have supported him throughout his achievements. Jozef was born in New Zealand after his parents Maynard, an educator, and Joann, a doctor, moved from the Philippines for a new beginning in 1996.