Herbert Smith Freehills has attracted praise from the LGBTIQ community after becoming the first corporate diversity partner to support the MELT Festival presented by the Brisbane Powerhouse.
The partnership developed is much more than simply a sponsorship. Lawyers will engage directly with the cast of Gaybies,
a political play as part of the festival.
A celebration of queer arts and culture, performing arts producer and artistic director of MELT Queer Fest Adam Gardnir, said the support of a major law firm means a great deal to the community.
“Our colleagues at the firm are enlightened thinkers, passionate citizens and wonderful collaborators,” he told Australasian Lawyer.
“This partnership is very special for both Brisbane Powerhouse and Herbert Smith Freehills.
“It shows how interesting corporate sponsorship can really be, with face to face connections between artists, partners, employees and clients.
“It also points out that no longer are we just interested in logos and signage footprint. While visibility remains central to all of our efforts, this collaboration blazes the trail for detailed, complex, meaningful engagements with the most contemporary of corporations.”
Gardnir said that with adoption under review by the State Government and following the recent announcement of the expungement those with criminal records of ‘homosexuality’, Queensland has many complex issues happening in the sector.
“The legal profession is central to… these occasions and many more in terms of broader human rights around the globe,” he said.
“Queensland’s nomination for Australian of the Year was a Trans Military Officer and marriage equality seems to be in the papers every day now.
“We’re seeing advocacy lead by partners, employees and clients across the nation. In Brisbane, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the front of this charge.
“Inspiringly, a great many law firms are moving to publicly support LGBTI communities.”
Having launched their Australian LGBTI Network back in 2013, Herbert Smith Freehills partner and Brisbane LGBTI champion Peter Smith said the firm said it has a long-standing commitment to supporting diversity, supporting Sydney’s iconic Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
“In our Brisbane office, and in our offices all around the world, we value the diversity of knowledge, experience and perspective of our people and we remain committed to fostering an environment that is inclusive and respectful - where all our people can bring their whole selves to work, and thrive,” Smith said.