HSF will continue its partnership from 2016 by supporting the event again this year. MELT will run until Sunday 5 February, showcasing a range of theatre, comedy shows, art exhibitions, live music and dance forums.
“Last year’s partnership saw us become the first corporate diversity partner, and it was such a success that we decided to continue our sponsorship and become a festival partner for 2017,” said HSF partner and Brisbane LGBTI champion Peter Smith.
“We are delighted to support this fantastic festival, which celebrates the diverse LGBTI community and entertains the people of Brisbane.”
As part of the partnership, HSF will treat clients to a private viewing next week of circus cabaret show Quiver by Brisbane’s Vulcana Women’s Circus.
Mr Smith noted that HSF remains the MELT Festival’s only corporate partner and said there are renewed calls for more corporates to support the event.
“We received extremely positive feedback from our staff and clients after sponsoring the festival last year and I’d urge other businesses to get on board and support Brisbane’s talented and diverse LGBTI community,” Mr Smith said.
In its commitment to diversity and inclusion, HSF is also a proud sponsor of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
The firm has also rolled out a new name for its global LGBTI network – IRIS Network. IRIS stands for Inclusion, Respecting Identity and Sexuality and is a nod to the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris, along with the firm’s logo, which is also an iris.
The network aims to support LGBTI inclusion across Herbert Smith Freehills’ international offices and is open to all partners and staff, including people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex and their allies.
“LGBTI inclusion is one of our key global diversity and inclusion priorities,” Mr Smith said.
“As a firm we aim to create a high-performing, diverse and inclusive workplace where people can bring their whole selves to work and thrive.”