Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation – 2020 in review

The pro bono, volunteering and fundraising work undertaken by our people, through the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation, during a challenging year has been outstanding. Our community has stepped up at a time of significant need and uncertainty to assist many individuals, not for profits (NFP) and charities.

Our community partners are the frontline problem solvers, creative thinkers, and regional experts. They can see solutions to the gaps in the justice system and can provide a holistic and trauma-informed response. While they are well-positioned to respond, they are underfunded and stretched in their ability to meet the significant need.

Now more than ever, the work of the Foundation to assist those in need is clear. Communities are struggling financially and emotionally, and our people are looking for ways to give back and support organisations working at the coalface.

Coronavirus pandemic
Disasters expose financial inequalities and generate pockets of newly poor people. Those already experiencing destitution are set to suffer further and those who are marginally insecure run a fast line to disadvantage.

The Foundation responded with new virtual volunteering initiatives to assist people who were socially isolated and older people in need of social connections. We launched volunteering programs with Aurous and 4Voices.

We also transformed our face-to-face legal clinics to telephone advice clinics so we could continue to assist those in need. We bridged the gap in legal services and provided legal advice to people suffering as a direct result of the pandemic and initiated new legal advice rosters to meet the community’s needs.

Partnership with The Kids’ Cancer Project
In 2020 we announced our major partnership with The Kids’ Cancer Project (TKCP) to collaborate on one of our focus areas: children. Their vision is to achieve a one hundred percent survival rate for children who have been diagnosed with cancer and eradicate the harmful impacts treatment can bring.

To help support TKCP’s vision and work, the Foundation is providing a range of pro bono legal services, donations, fundraising, employee contributions, in-kind support and professional volunteering. This is a unique opportunity to bring our core skills, resources, people and energy, together with TKCP’S knowledge and expertise, to achieve real and lasting change for the lives of the kids and their families affected by kids cancer.

Final Hour Appeal
In support of our new partnership with The Kids’ Cancer Project (TKCP), the Final Hour Appeal for 2020 went towards TKCP and their amazing work funding scientific research for the improvement of childhood cancer treatments. This year our people kindly contributed their final working hour to raise $11,601.

On top of the Final Hour Appeal, Colin Biggers & Paisley staff were given the option of receiving an ethical gift box from Mettle Women Inc for Christmas or donating their Christmas gift money. A majority of staff opted to donate, which raised an additional $8790.

Through these initiatives, our people raised a total of $20,391 in support of TKCP. This money will help TKCP realise their goal of eradicating the harmful impacts of current cancer treatments and seeing a one hundred percent survival rate of children with cancer.

Research matters

The Foundation is continuing its support for frontline organisations in our key focus areas of women, children, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We provided legal research and drafting to Change the Record, Australia’s only national Aboriginal led justice coalition of Aboriginal peak bodies and non-Indigenous allies. It has two key goals – to end the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in prison, and to cut the disproportionate burden of violence borne by Aboriginal women and children. We also provided research and drafting assistance for the Raise the Age of criminal responsibility campaign, where we researched the existing diversionary service provisions in each state and territory available for children aged 10-14 years and assisted in drafting recommendations to bridge this gap. This work is ongoing.

Our work continues

Although 2020 was a particularly difficult year, our Foundation was able to positively contribute to vulnerable communities, and in turn, help build staff morale. We are proud of our ongoing commitment to work on behalf of these communities and for the public good and will continue to support the community with pro bono legal assistance, volunteering and fundraising in 2021.