Issue 128: May 2018
Nearly $200K raised through Walks for Justice on National Pro Bono Day 2018
National Pro Bono Day, falling on Tuesday 15 May this year, celebrated the role and contribution of pro bono legal work in Australia. Lawyers in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia participated in Walks for Justice, while law firms ran events and several signatories to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target recorded a short video to mark the occasion.
So far, the Walks in nine locations across three states have raised an impressive $196,663 (and counting!) in funds for the important work of clearing houses in their state. This exceeds last year’s record of $173,299. And there’s still time to donate before the end of the financial year – see below for links.
Queensland Legal Walk
One thousand members of the legal community raised over $97,000 in the Queensland Legal Walk on Tuesday 15 May (National Pro Bono Day) as part of Law Week. Events were held in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba, Mackay, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
The annual event is hosted by LawRight and was well supported by the judiciary, the private profession and barristers, DJAG, Legal Aid Queensland, QLS, the Bar Association of Queensland and district legal associations, along with CLCs from across the state.
The Walk raises money for LawRight services and for the Disbursement Fund, which helps clients of pro bono lawyers and CLCs to cover the disbursements associated with their legal matter.
The Walk in Brisbane was led by the President of the Court of Appeal, the Hon. Walter Sofronoff QC and the Hon. Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills.
Donations can be made at http://www.qldlegalwalk.org.au/ and remain open until 30 June.
You can also support former LawRight volunteer Bianca Tracy who is running the Gold Coast Marathon in support of LawRight on 1 July. Her fundraising page is here: https://gcam2018.everydayhero.com/au/running-for-justice.
SA Walk for Justice
For the year sixth year in a row, Lipman Karas won the Walk for Justice Cup for raising the most funds as a team. This year the team raised $6928 (with that amount still rising).
His Excellency The Honourable Chris Kourakis QC presents the Justice Cup to Lipman Karas’s team captain.
Deputy Premier and Attorney General Vickie Chapman (second from left) standing with Lipman Karas’s team captain (far left) and representatives from the Adelaide University Student Association.
The Adelaide University Student Association won the Walk for Justice Shield for the most funds raised by a student team raising a total of $3438.
The total raised for Law Access WA stands at $57,414 but there is still time to donate as the cause will remain open until 31 May 2018: https://www.mycause.com.au/events/walkforjustice.
The Hon. Vickie Chapman, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General opened the walk. “I’m proud to have been involved with this walk for several years now, joining representatives of the legal profession and justice system to raise funds to help low-income and disadvantaged South Australians,” she said.
The ‘breakfast club’ – an integral part of SA’s Walks for Justice over the last few years. From left to right: Jane Stinson, Labor MP; His Excellency The Hon. Chris Kourakis QC, Supreme Court judge; The Hon. Mark Parnell MLC, Greens Parliamentary Leader; Rachel Sanderson, Liberal MP; The Hon. Connie Bonaros MLC, Greens senator.
WA Walk for Justice
WA’s third Walk for Justice was the biggest yet, with over 450 lawyers participating, led by several distinguished state judges and professional association presidents.
The walkers enjoyed great sunny weather in Perth, and the 4.4 km walk along the CBD foreshore to Point Fraser and back were rewarded with a special South Indian breakfast courtesy of Annalakshmi Restaurant. The Hon. Wayne Martin AC, Chief Justice of Western Australia, delivered the opening address and cut the ribbon.
Dominique Hansen, CEO of Law Access WA and a director on the Centre’s Board said, “It was fantastic to see so many people come together to celebrate the achievements of the WA pro bono community while shining a light on the justice gap.”
The LawAccess event was featured in this Lawyers Weekly article. Adam Ebell, Law Access’s Chairperson, drew attention to the crucial role that the clearing house plays in pro bono and access to justice.
“Law Access assists some of the most vulnerable people in WA, who would otherwise be unable to obtain legal assistance,” Adam explained. “We receive requests for assistance from all over the State, and in all areas of the law, and match those who will most benefit from legal assistance, with lawyers willing to provide pro bono assistance. Law Access allows scarce pro bono resources to be utilised in the most effective way possible, benefiting both applicants and the profession.”
The Hon. Wayne Martin AC, Chief Justice of Western Australia, delivers the opening address.
So far donors have given a generous $42,219 in total. Donations can still be made until 30 June 2018 via the event website: https://www.mycause.com.au/events/lawaccesswalkforjustice.
The Centre was pleased to participate in Hall & Wilcox’s panel discussion on why we do pro bono. The firm also joined other signatories to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target in celebrating their pro bono contribution in this 1-minute video: https://t.co/mCcfJqAET1.
Meanwhile in Melbourne, Lander & Rogers hosted a pro bono expo for their staff, showcasing and celebrating the firm’s pro bono partnerships and helping to raise awareness, knowledge and participation among the firm’s lawyers. The day included a screening this short clip of Jo Renkin, the firm’s Head of Pro Bono and Community Engagement.
We are encouraged by the way that pro bono is growing and developing in Australia. Following the tenth anniversary of the Target, there will be some amendments made to the definition – watch this space!
STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:
AUSTRALIAN PRO BONO NEWS