At a Newcastle City Council meeting on Monday night Sparke Helmore lawyer Rod Smith was awarded a City of Newcastle Service Award for his pro bono work for Renew Newcastle.
Smith has been supporting Renew Newcastle - a non-profit organisation that finds artistic and cultural uses for vacant or disused buildings in Newcastle's CBD - through the firm's pro bono program SHARE. He has provided legal advice on issues including Renew Newcastle's structure, corporate compliance, tax office endorsements and lease arrangements.
The award coincides with Smith's appointment to the Renew Newcastle Board.
The Newcastle Service Awards highlight service, commitment, effort and achievement that makes a difference in the lives of Newcastle residents, and celebrate community participation and community spirit.
According to Renew Newcastle founder Marcus Westbury, in the 12 months since the organisation was established, it has placed nearly 40 projects in more than 25 formerly empty premises in Newcastle's CBD including arts, craft, fashion design, sculpture, sustainable recycled art, and photographic works, providing work spaces for artists and other creative groups.