As a firm, and individually, we recognise our obligation to contribute positively to the communities in which we live and conduct our business. Our national growth has provided us the opportunity to expand our positive social impact under our pro bono and community giving program, the Impact Project. The Impact Project encourages and facilitates a firm-wide culture of making a positive difference through our chosen partnerships across four core areas:
- Pro bono
Pro bono work is an integral part of BN’s corporate social responsibility plan. Our lawyers are committed to providing high quality legal assistance in areas of unmet legal need, with an emphasis on work that will have a long-term impact and address systemic legal problems affecting disadvantaged, marginalised or vulnerable people. As a signatory to the National Pro Bono Target, our lawyers aim to volunteer 35+ hours of pro bono legal work annually. In addition to this, our staff actively participate in charitable fundraising and volunteering initiatives for numerous community organisations.
- Environmental Impact & Sustainability
We recognise that we have a responsibility to operate our business in a way which protects the environment and minimises damage to the land, and we acknowledge our obligation to take steps to ensure resources will be available for future generations. As a firm, we are committed to incorporating environmental practices into our business strategy and operations, as well as fostering environmental awareness amongst our employees, clients and suppliers.
Every day we aim to:
- Recycle and minimise waste wherever practicable.
- Include sustainability considerations when sourcing office equipment and general appliances.
- Source office supplies produced from sustainable resources or recycled materials wherever practicable.
- Monitor our energy use through internal and external audits and report regularly to all staff.
- Promote environmental responsibility as part of our culture.
BN is also a proud member of the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA), an industry-led association working to collaboratively promote best practice sustainability commitments and performance across the legal sector. Environmental management and improvement is key to our membership of AusLSA., and our environmental performance is detailed in AusLSA’s annual report which is available to download here.
- Community giving
BN encourages and supports a range of activities to empower staff to give back to our community, including regular participation in charitable fun runs, walks, rides and other events, and facilitating donation drives for food, clothing, toys, educational supplies, toiletries and more.
Each year, BN is proud to partner with the following charitable organisations to help raise funds and awards:
- Royal Far West: Since 1924, RFW have kept country kids connected to the healthcare they need and couldn’t otherwise access. BN is proud to be sponsoring and participating in RFW's annual Ride for Country Kids charity ride for the fourth year, riding approximately 450km from Dubo to Cobar to raise much needed awareness and funds for Australia's country kids. Find out more at www.royalfarwest.org.au
- Tour de Cure & Soirée for a Cure: BN is a proud corporate sponsor of the annual Soirée for a Cure, the fundraising event supporting Tour de Cure Australia, which raises funds for cancer research. Find out more at www.tourdecure.com.au
- Harrison's Little Wings: A not-for-profit organisation supporting women and their families who receive a poor or fatal diagnosis during pregnancy, or a mother with a maternal health issue that may put her baby's life at risk, by providing resources, peer support and practical support to bring ease to their pregnancy journeys. Each yeah, BN sponsors Harrison's Little Wings high tea fundraising event, raising funds to put towards a range of resources including toiletry bags, peer support programs, access to health professionals, pregnancy packs and more. Find out more here at www.harrisonslittlewings.org.au
- Foodbank: Providing more than 70% of the food rescued for food relief organisations nation-wide, Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation fighting food insecurity both locally and overseas. BN are proud supporters of Foodbank and are thrilled to work alongside them on a range of initiatives each year, including running in their Fridge to Brisbane team for the annual Bridge to Brisbane, packing 400 hampers for Queenslanders in need for the festive season, and raising much needed funds to help support the substantial increase in demand for food relief following the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more at www.foodbank.org.au
And each year, this list continues to grow.
- Indigenous Participation
The Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland (ILAQ) is a professional representative body doing incredible work for the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the legal industry, both in Queensland and elsewhere. To help ILAQ achieve its objective of increasing access to legal education, BN is assisting with financial support for Practice Management course fees for a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander solicitors. This is an initiative we are extremely proud to recognise and support as a firm. Find out more about ILAQ here.
BN is thrilled to be a partner of the Junior Indigenous Marine and Environmental Cadets Program (JIME) since 2019. Through our partnership, BN helps to raise awareness and funds through events, staff giving initiatives and in-kind donations. We are proud to be a major supporter of JIME and we’re excited to be part of the journey for Indigenous Australian students.
A grassroots charity, JIME offers a diversified and alternative education program to Indigenous students in Australia. Its primary goal is to break the cycle of dependency by educating students about long-term sustainability to preserve and protect their local waterways through cadetships. Through these cadetships, students gain valuable experience, often translating into a job after graduation.
The program offers a combined educational offering of secondary and tertiary education, as well as industry placement with JIME, covering cadets’ weekly salaries throughout years 11 and 12. To be eligible for the program, students are required to maintain a 90% school attendance rate.
This year, they have expanded to create opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged students in Sydney, including a boat building and marine engineering course.
JIME were named winners of the 2020 Far North Queensland Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (Regional) and as a runner up in the 2020 Queensland Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (State).
Find out more about this exciting program at jimecadets.com.au.