“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every time we help someone with a legal problem, we are reminded that we have a set of skills that can genuinely change a person’s life. Whether it be negotiating that person out of a seemingly impossible situation, or articulating an argument that our client could never devise by themselves, we have skills that can genuinely help others.
We choose to make a difference in the world. It is part of our calling as a business committed to Social Engagement.
Pro Bono Work
One way in which we seek to make a difference is to provide pro-bono legal services to people in need in our community who could never find the resources themselves to do what needs to be done. Our staff are encouraged to bring to the directors possible legal projects for us to support, and we try to find at least five worthy causes each year to assist with.
In recent time, we have helped on a pro bono basis:
- the Men’s Shed with legal advice and representation
- a young widow with her estate planning
- a dying man with getting a TPD payment under his superannuation policy
- a medical research organisation with commercial advice
Perinatal Research and Maternal Medicine (PRaMM) is a research organisation which operates under the umbrella of the Kolling Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital. They research the causes of death of full-term babies, and the health of pregnant mums. In 2013, one of our senior staff lost their baby at full term, and the staff of AV decided that we wanted to do something practical to express our grief, to support our colleague, and to contribute in a real way to research efforts directed at avoiding such terrible events for other families.
Since 2014 we have been actively involved in fundraising efforts to support PRaMM. To date, we have raised $55,000 for PRaMM. Each year we run a major fundraising event for PRaMM. In September 2016, we held a fundraiser at the IVY in Sydney, raising over $18,000 in just one night! Keep an eye on our events listings for the next PRaMM event we will be hosting.
Mending Small Hearts
This is a fundraising arm of the Heart Centre for Children. The Heart Centre for Children integrates cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and scientists delivering patient care (Adolph Basser Cardiac Institute), out of hospital and in hospital (Edgar Stephen Ward) cardiac specialist nursing specialist cardiac psychology, and dedicated cardiac researchers (Kids Heart Research) at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney. The children who receive medical care at the Heart Centre are either born with heart problems (congenital heart disease) or develop them during childhood (acquired heart disease). Financial supporters Mending Small Hearts are directly improving the treatments for kids, their families and the community, with donations directly allocated to specialised equipment or research to solve heart disease in children.
One of AV’s extended families has been affected by the distress of having a baby born with a congenital heart defect. We have supported this wonderful organisation through donating auction items and numerous staff attending their annual charity fundraiser.