This year’s Queen’s Ball sees the launch of a new award category: the Ally of the Year award. The award recognises a person who does not identify as LGBTIQ+ but has made a significant contribution in support of the community.
Law firm Allens is proud to sponsor this year’s Ally Award.
“By making a public commitment to LGBTIQ inclusion, and by holding ourselves accountable to that commitment, we seek to be an ally to our own LGBTIQ staff”, said Karla Fraser, Partner at Allens and a sponsor of ALLin, Allens’ network of LGBTIQ staff and allies. For the past two years, Allens has submitted to the Australian Workplace Equality Index, an independently administered evidence-based benchmark of workplace inclusion initiatives. “Allens ranked in the top 10 in this year’s index, but the key thing we’ve learned from this process is how much more we can do”, she said.
Another way Allens seeks to be an LGBTIQ ally is by supporting not-for-profit organisations, like the LGBTI Legal Service, which advocate on LGBTI legal issues, including marriage equality, transgender rights, the rights of LGBTI asylum and expungement of historical convictions.
Nicky Friedman, Allens’ Director of Community Engagement, said: “Businesses dedicating their time and skills can make an important contribution to support LGBTI community legal services and other not-for-profits, but cannot come close to filling the significant gaps and unmet legal need in a severely underfunded sector.”
Jessica Rusten, lawyer and ALLin member said, “As an organisation, it’s important for us to stand alongside the community that has fought so long and hard to shift prejudicial attitudes and reform laws and policies in this country”.
For 55 years, the Queens Ball has recognised individuals and groups in the community who have made a difference through their commitment to equality. “While corporate Australia has been ‘late to the party’ on LGBTIQ equality, we’re really looking forward to celebrating the progress that’s been made so far on Saturday”, Ms Rusten added.