Changing lives

5 mins  27.09.2018
Whether through our matched workplace giving program or through our pro bono legal work, our aim at MinterEllison is to help break cycles of disadvantage. This includes addressing the causes and effects of poverty and other forms of distress in Australia and beyond.

Adara Development

Once again, in 2018, our long-term partnership with Adara Development helped deliver incredible social impact in Asia and Africa.

Through our Adara Ambassador program, highly skilled MinterEllison lawyers have the opportunity to undertake a life-changing, long-term secondment with Adara, a unique for-purpose business that delivers essential health services for women and children in Uganda and educational opportunities for children in a remote area of Nepal.

In 2018, our Adara Ambassador, Natalie Bentley, had the opportunity to advise Adara on contractual issues arising from an extension to Adara's NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) in Uganda, update Adara's policies and procedures in accordance with legal and international development sector obligations, and review Adara's child protection protocols to keep pace with best practice.

"MinterEllison's partnership with the Adara Group has a huge impact, and is a shining example of the power of a business non-profit partnership. The brilliant legal work Minters did for us to establish our ground breaking new corporate advisory business for purpose, Adara Partners, was critical to our successful launch. On top of that, the MinterEllison's Ambassador is a key member of our senior global team, working with our development and business teams hand in hand. We are so grateful to MinterEllison for this amazing partnership,” Audette Exel AO, Founder of Adara.

We are delighted to continue our long association with Adara and proud of Natalie's wonderful contribution as our Adara Ambassador.

The LBW (Learning for a Better World) Trust

Closer to home, we have engaged with the LBW Trust – an initiative of the cricket community – to raise funds and awareness in Australia for Kakenya's Dream. Kakenya's Dream is inspirational: Dr Kakenya Ntaiya's dream is simple: "I had a dream where all the girls in my village could go to school." Kakenya (pictured below with Virginia Briggs) earned her PhD in education in the USA and returned to her community in Kenya to fulfil her promise. The LBW Trust – with the support of MinterEllison, Qantas, Macquarie Bank and PWC – is proud to support Kakenya's Dream.

The Growth Project

The Growth Project helps to build the leadership capacity of emerging not-for-profit sector leaders in Australia. This year, Paul Schoff, the leader of our Commercial and Regulatory team, was matched with Megan Donnell, founder of the Sanfillipo Children's Foundation. They are pictured together below at a Growth Project seminar. Their goal was to raise awareness and expand the reach of the foundation. The foundation exists to improve the quality of life for children who suffer from Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

Paul Schoff speaks candidly of the impact The Growth Project had on him: "In my mind the benefits of collaborating through The Growth Project with Megan have been very unfairly distributed, overwhelmingly in my favour as a business leader, and as a human. Collaborate, innovate, inspire are the three words that MinterEllison has chosen as its mantra. They are good words, and working with Megan as part of The Growth Project has taught me their true content – their application with urgent and fierce gravity are the keys to how Megan goes about running the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation." Paul has now accepted an invitation to serve in a voluntary capacity on the board of the Sanfilippo Foundation.

Camp Quality

Camp Quality exists to create a better life for every Australian child – up to the age of 13 – who lives with cancer. The organisation is committed to delivering national programs to help build resilience and optimistic behaviours amongst the children. We are very proud to volunteer our legal expertise to enable Camp Quality to operate as a legally and financially compliant charity.

The firm has partnered with Camp Quality since 2004, and provides a range of support including advising on Camp Quality's engagements with third party suppliers, partners and fundraisers, and providing advice in respect to intellectual property, privacy, financial compliance, taxation, corporate governance, employment, property and bequests.

In short, almost every team within our business has engaged with Camp Quality since 2004. Our work supports Camp Quality and Camp Quality's work inspires our people. It is our privilege to support an organisation that provides such essential support to families and children who are experiencing the effects of living with cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Australia

Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA) exists to ensure no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone. OCA supports those affected by ovarian cancer, giving them a voice, facilitating research and raising awareness on a national scale. Our connection with Ovarian Cancer Australia dates back many years and includes:

  • ongoing pro bono legal work across OCA's full suite of operations which OCA has described as "quite incredible and a testament to the passion and dedication of your people"
  • nomination of Ovarian Cancer Australia as the Property Council of NSW's charity partner
  • nomination of Ovarian Cancer Australia as the NSW Law Society President's charity in 2017
  • annual 'Afternoon Tea' fundraising events in our offices to help engage our people in a cause close to the hearts of many

Jennifer Barton Scholarship

Jennifer Barton, one of our most promising young lawyers, died of ovarian cancer at just 29 years of age. Following her death, her family established a law scholarship in her memory at Macquarie Law School. The scholarship is awarded to a second year student at Macquarie Law School who reflects Jennifer's exemplary qualities. MinterEllison was proud to contribute seed funding to ensure that the scholarship continues to be offered on a perpetual basis in memory of one of our most loved and respected people.

Butterfly Foundation

We are proud to be associated with Australia's leading eating disorders charity, the Butterfly Foundation. The topic of eating disorders is a difficult subject for many, and the Butterfly Foundation exists to provide support for sufferers and their families. MinterEllison has worked closely with The Butterfly Foundation on a major initiative to help expand their range of services. We have great respect and admiration for the work of The Butterfly Foundation, and we will continue to support their work into the future.

This article featured in our 2018 Annual Report



Point of View: insights into key issues and challenges facing business today.

In this series of interviews with MinterEllison partners we hear their perspective on key areas of interest to our clients and the business community.