I come from a conservative background where growing up I didn't have much, if any, exposure to the LGBTQIA+ community. It wasn't until I became a lawyer that I had any real exposure to the community and met people like me.
My early experiences with legal reform and the incredible impact that legal change can have on individual lives, families and society more broadly is what drew me to pursue a career in law. I feel grateful to work at Allens, a place that values excellence and merit while embracing people who have had such a diversity of life experience.
Law student Curtis Haas was the first recipient of the Allens Pinnacle Scholarship, which provides educational mentoring support to young people who identify as LGBTIQ+ and are interested in a career in law.
Despite my challenges (which many members of the LGBTQ+ community still face), I came out stronger and more determined than ever to live as my true self. This is what pride means to me: living life truthfully and with freedom.
This case was the highlight of my career to that point. Such a strong and unequivocal statement from the country's highest court represented an important brick in the road towards expunging discrimination against intersex and gender diverse people from Australian law.
There is still work to do – difficult and complex work, which lawyers are in a unique position to advance. The high-quality legal assistance that Allens provides to organisations like Equality Australia is crucial to continuing it.
One question I often ask myself is how I can help people really be themselves at work, and do that comfortably and effortlessly. As a partner of a firm that is committed to being 'in it together', I like knowing that I can play a role as an ally in fostering true inclusion.