Dariel De Sousa was born on 23 November 1968. Her awareness of Monash University began at a very young age as her father was an academic in the Faculty of Law, and had been since the early 1970s. ‘I have vague recollections of visits to the campus with my dad as a young child, astounded at how big and grand everything seemed to be’, De Sousa recalls. While her long standing connection with the University did influence her decision to study there, it wasn’t the main reason.
Monash University was the first university in Australia – if not the world – to introduce a combined engineering and law degree. This option was made available to students the year before I commenced university there. The appeal for me of this combined degree lay in the fact that it was possible to undertake studies in engineering and law concurrently, which significantly reduced the overall time it would have taken to study the two degrees separately. The availability of this option was the main reason why I decided to study at Monash…
De Sousa was also President of the Monash University Mechanical Engineering Club in 1990. She was an exceptional student. She completed the engineering component of her degree in 1990, and the law component in 1991, graduating with a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Engineering with honours in both disciplines in 1992. De Sousa was awarded the JW Dodds Memorial Prize for best overall mechanical engineering student as well as the Gledhill Burridge Cathro Prize for best honours thesis on a commercial law topic.
De Sousa has many happy memories from her time at Monash:
I remember the back-to-back hard-core lectures on a Tuesday morning in second year engineering; fluid mechanics practicals in the freezing Wind Tunnel; late nights and very early mornings completing design projects in the Apollo Lab; plane-throwing antics of my class-mates (not me of course!); Friday afternoon BBQ’s near the Hargrave Caf; and the fourth year mechanical engineering dinner, which most students and lecturers made an effort to attend and was a fantastic finale to our engineering degree.
Shortly after completing her degrees at Monash, De Sousa was awarded the Menzies Scholarship in Law, which enabled her to undertake a two-year Master’s degree at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. From Oxford, De Sousa obtained her Bachelor of Civil Law (the equivalent to a Master’s degree in Law) in 1995, before going on to study at Yale University in the United States, graduating with a Master of Business Administration in 1999.
De Sousa’s first job after graduating was as a law clerkship at the law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Melbourne. She also worked for the World Trade Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland from 1999–2006, before taking up a position at the Australian Energy Regulator, as Director of Enforcement and Compliance, where she is currently employed.
De Sousa speaks highly of her time at Monash in the Faculty of Engineering:
My engineering studies at Monash laid a very solid foundation for my future career both in terms of the technical skills the course provided me with as well as the general approach to thought and study, which the Engineering Faculty fostered. I have studied at a number of internationally recognised institutions and I would rate the overall quality of education at Monash’s Engineering Faculty to be outstanding.