Giving Back - Our approach to our charitable grants program

Giving Back

Our approach to our charitable grants program

As this page demonstrates we love to get involved with the many organisations across Australia, in Vietnam and in Papua New Guinea that work to provide assistance within their communities.

We focus on three areas where we believe we can make the greatest impact:

  • mental health
  • children in need
  • alleviating disadvantage.

Workplace giving – 'charity begins at home'

This year we restructured our matched funding program so that our people can make a monthly donation to a range of charities and have that donation matched by Allens. The charities involved in the matched funding program are:

  • Save the Children
  • WWF (World Wildlife Fund)
  • Human Rights Law Centre
  • RUOK?
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders)
  • Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

Message from our Director of Community Engagement

How does Allens see its role in the wider community?

We are a commercial law firm, but we are also committed to using our expertise to help those in our society who need legal help and can’t pay fees. This is not only a privilege, but a responsibility for our firm.

What’s been the highlight of 2017 for you?

One recent day was a highlight that shows the broad range of work we do and what it means to clients. I received two thank-you letters from effusive pro bono clients: one was an environmental NGO client and the other was about a sensitive matter affecting members of an LGBTI community. On the same day, we received requests for assistance with three new pro bono matters: a High Court appeal for an asylum seeker; an Aboriginal Corporation with which we’ve worked for many years facing litigation; and a long‑term arts organisation client in need of IP advice.

What’s the best part about your job?

I learn about and interact with many mission‑driven organisations and the passionate, knowledgeable people who run them. I have always been committed to social justice and my role allows me to drill down into some of society’s most complex and urgent problems, and to understand a little about what can be done to assist. The chance to take this understanding and work with smart lawyers and other professionals to help address some of these problems makes my job rewarding and worthwhile.

What’s ahead for community at Allens?

We will continue to make sure we maximise the value of what we do by focusing on where we can best make a difference, and work collaboratively with those with deep knowledge of the areas of social need. We already have great participation in our community programs and my team and I will keep working to make sure everyone knows what’s going on and what they can do to contribute.

Nicky Friedman
Director of Community Engagement


Board members: Richard Spurio, Rod Fielding, Nicky Friedman, Malcom Stephens, Tim Stewart, Ian McGill, Kate Towey, Phillip Cornwell.

Team members: Nicky Friedman, Emma Fitzgerald, Alice Wald, Jodie Symes.


Malcolm Stephens, John Hedge, Karla Fraser, Ted Hill, Sarah Matheson, Gerard Woods, Phillip Cornwell, Rebekah Oldfield, Holly Woodcroft, Thanushar Sidaran, Laura Bereicua.


Nicky Friedman, Melissa Keane, Sarah Kuman, Hieu Nguyen, Hien Tran.


Chair: Tim Stewart

National secretariat: Tim Stewart, Emma Fitzgerald, Phillip Cornwell, Bill Tanner, Beth Patterson, Chloe Mitchell, Toula Panopoulos, Nicky Friedman, Elise O’Connell, Lindsay Dick, Jaclyn Webb, Ha Nguyen, Tarsha Gavin. Brisbane: Bill McCredie (Chair), Noveen Thrower, Lisa Watt, Ross Galbraith, Jaclyn Webb, Patrick Broe, Jessica Grieve, Logan Brown. Melbourne: Michael Graves (Chair), Emma Fitzgerald, Patrick Easton, John Jacob, Chloe Mitchell, Yi‑Ling Ng, Jamil Diu, Edward Thien, Rujuta Natu, Matthew Brennan, Jakub Patela, Michael Anthony. Perth: Lindsay Dick, Julie Moore. Sydney: Tarsha Gavin (Chair), George Blades, Renee Boundy, Anna Conigrave, Naresh Gohil, Emma Gorrie, Laylah Kessler, Jasmin Last, Claudine Lawton, Carolyn Oddie, Beth Patterson, Tim Stewart, Katharine Ward, Alice Williams. Vietnam: Ha Nguyen (Chair), Hien Tran, Hoa Duong, Hien Nguyen.


Brisbane: Andrew Knox, Gillian Briais, Kate Buchanan, Jenni Cameron, Belinda Hennessy, Michael Ilott, Laura‑Rose Lynch, Kathryn Prato. Melbourne: Peter Haig, Shifa Akbar, Carissa Apps, Shaun Cartoon, Jennee Chan, David Donnelly, Sarah Glynn, Travis Hobbs, Malak Johnson, Emily Johnstone, Melissa Le Fevre, Joannie Piston, Stephen Polesel, Alicia Salvo. Perth: Andrew Pascoe, Elle Farris, Sam Gillis, Guru Kugananthan, Brittany Lawtie, Fiona Potter, Isobel Rosenstreich, Jeremy Quan‑Sing​. Sydney: Kate Towey, Emma Bowers, Roseanna Bricknell, Ying Chin, Claire Gregg, Laurien Hush, Vanessa Mackinnon, Claire Pedley, Kate Poole, Sikeli Ratu.


Brisbane: John Hedge (Chair), Peter Brennan, Ben Zillmann, Whitney Shanahan, Gillian Hayden, Tash Venaik, Christina Russell, Amy Detheridge, Kate Ah Shay, Maggie Shelton, Christa Howat. Melbourne: Elyse Adams, Adam Percy, Houston Ash, Nicky Friedman, Emily Gerrard, Dana Harel, Kelly Roberts, Clare Smith, Fletcher Stewart, Jodie Symes, Jon Webster, Holly Woodcroft, Alice Wharldall, Sebastian Cross, Chandni Dhingra, Georgia Dobbyn, Mohamed Khairat, Annie Cao, Elise Rutherfurd, Sarah Lunny, John Jacob, Patrick Easton, Stephen Polesel. Perth: Gerard Woods (Chair), Fiona Potter, Thanushar Sridaran, Nicholas Creed, Jamie Donnelly, Elliott Clutterbuck, Darcy Doyle, Lily Hands, Isobel Rosenstreich, Kate Fitzsimons. Sydney: Ian McGill, Tom Griffin, Valeska Bloch, Maria Poulos, Briony Beckett, David Bradbury, William Coote, Elise Ho, Daniel Macpherson, Simun Soljo, Laura Bereicua, Gabrielle Morriss, Heydon Wardell‑Burrus, Phoebe Boyle, Tiernan Christensen, Roseanna Bricknell.

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