Art auction doubleheader to be hosted by leading commercial firms

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A duo of top commercial firms are helping people who want to protect the environment by hosting this year’s Environmental Defenders Office Northern Territory (EDONT) Art Auction.

On 22 June, Arnold Bloch Leibler (ABL) will be hosting the auction for the first time in Melbourne while Gilbert + Tobin (G+T) returns to host the event in Sydney.

The auction, which features 126 art pieces by indigenous artists, is one of the main fundraising activities of EDONT. The organisation provides free legal assistance to people using the law to protect the environment in the public interest.

Although the bidding for works of art is already ongoing online, there will be live auctions and art displays at the events hosted by the law firms.

“Like many others in the legal profession, we are concerned about governments using funding arrangements with not-for-profits and rules around their DGR status to restrict free speech,” said Peter Seidel, ABL public interest partner.

He added that it was a no brainer when David Morris, EDONT’s principal lawyer and executive officer approached ABL to host the Melbourne event.

“The focus and values of our public interest practice closely align with EDONT’s. We have a number of clients in common and, importantly, we feel very strongly that the future of organisations like this one should not be vulnerable to the whims of government funding,” Seidel said.

The works of art are sourced from 22 art centres from over the NT. It features work by renowned indigenous artists such as Susan Wanji Wanji, Timothy Cook, Dhawarrwarr Marika, Nancy McDinny, Stewart Hoosan, Jack Green, Samuel Namundja, and Lily Hargraves Nungarrayi.

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