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Sparke Helmore launches Reconciliation Action Plan

Sparke Helmore has unveiled its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), joining a strong network of law firms that have made a formal commitment to reconciliation through Reconciliation Australia’s RAP program.

user iconJess Feyder 19 October 2022 Big Law
Sparke Helmore launches Reconciliation Action Plan
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Sparke Helmore joins other national and global firms that have signed on to RAPs, including Cooper Grace Ward, Allens, Herbert Smith Freehills, McCabe Curwood, Gilbert + Tobin, and DLA Piper.

These firms followed Arnold Bloch Leibler, the first firm to launch a RAP, with its senior partner Mark Leibler being a founding board member of Reconciliation Australia. 

Sparke Helmore’s “Reflect RAP” aims to enable the firm to deepen its understanding of its sphere of influence and the contribution it can make to lead progress across the five dimensions of reconciliation: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity, and historical acceptance.

 
 

The firm will use four action-oriented pillars to drive reconciliation:

  1. Relationships – building meaningful relationships with First Nations communities;
  2. Respect – connecting to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, and the future, to build understanding through education;
  3. Opportunities – creating opportunities for advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in areas including: recruitment, pro bono, and procurement;
  4. Governance – this pillar will keep the firm accountable against progress, and acknowledge key milestones. 
“With a longstanding history of supporting First Nations communities through our pro-bono activities, the Reconciliation Australia endorsed ‘Reflect RAP’ reflects our desire to do more to advance reconciliation in Australia,” Sparke Helmore said in a statement. 

“As a firm that has an established presence across Australia, Sparke Helmore understands the role we have in supporting a fair and equal opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” the firm said.

Sparke Helmore noted that whilst the firm has been actively involved in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and initiatives for a number of years, the development of the RAP is an important step in formalising, and setting a clear pathway, for its ongoing contribution to the progression of reconciliation across the firm and the wider Australian community.

“The engagement, voice and representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on our reconciliation journey is vital, and we are committed to building connection, opportunities and seeing progress across the legal industry,” the firm commented.

“We acknowledge that a meaningful and impactful reconciliation journey takes time and that we are at the start of that journey.  

“Creating this RAP has helped us understand where we need to dedicate time and resources and also build our knowledge with the support, guidance and leadership of First Nations communities, organisations and stakeholders.”

Andrew White, Sparke Helmore national managing partner, said: “Reconciliation and the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is very close to my heart, and I am committed to supporting our firm’s progress through the delivery of our RAP.”