Our commitment to alleviating poverty and distress

5 mins  20.11.2018

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 – business changing lives in Nepal and Uganda

Adara founded 20 years ago, is a unique, for-purpose corporate advisory business, which directs all profits towards improving the lives of people living in poverty. Its non-profit international development organisation, Adara Development, is delivering life-changing services in Nepal (education for girls in remote communities) and Uganda (world-leading infant health services).

Adara's most recent innovation was the creation of Adara Partners, a panel of Australia's premier investment bankers, Non-Executive Directors and corporate advisors. Each panel member undertakes assignments for Adara Partners free of charge and Adara Partners then donates the fees charged to clients to Adara Development.

The establishment of Adara Partners presented significant regulatory hurdles. MinterEllison, led by Richard Batten (Partner) and the firm's Financial Institutions team worked with Adara to modify its Australian Financial Services Licence to address conflicts of interest and other issues to the satisfaction of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Since inception, Adara Partners has generated more than $5 million in revenue for Adara Development. This is just the beginning of a business-led revolution to change lives for women and children. Adara's founder, Audette Exel, was Australian Philanthropist of the Year in 2016.

This is a truly unique partnership and we will continue to work with Adara on new ways to build sustainable fundraising platforms for their great work.

In their own words

"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.

MinterEllison is proud of our ongoing MinterEllison/Adara Ambassador Program. The program provides Adara with a top-tier lawyer on secondment on a rolling basis. The Ambassador program allows our talented lawyers to enhance their skills in a unique environment combining commercial legal work with social impact. See for yourself … 

Our partnership with Adara

World Vision

Our relationship with World Vision dates back more than 15 years. World Vision remains our best-supported workplace giving charity partner. Every staff donation to World Vision's child sponsorship program is matched dollar-for-dollar by MinterEllison. We are proud of this long-term commitment and even prouder of the dedicated support shown by our staff to World Vision's child sponsorship program.


ATEC is a social enterprise established by our long-term community partner, Engineers Without Borders Australia. ATEC supplies cheap, clean cooking technology for small-acreage farmers in Cambodia. The ATEC model has been so successful that social impact investors have boosted ATEC's capital base to enable further expansion into new markets. MinterEllison advised ATEC on the capital raising and has provided further legal advice and support to assist with ATEC's ongoing operations.

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

The LBW (Learning for a Better World) Trust

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.

In their own words

Why our leaders make time to give back:

Virginia Briggs

One partner's commitment to community and pro bono

Paul Schoff
The Growth Project helps to build the leadership capacity of emerging not-for-profit sector leaders in Australia. 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 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 said: "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.


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