More than 120 members of the Sunshine Coast legal fraternity excitedly gathered to raise record funds for the Suncoast Community Legal Service at a Wine Dinner hosted by leading Queensland compensation law firm, Travis Schultz & Partners (TSP).
Together, they almost doubled last year’s fundraising efforts to raise a solid $30,186. Every cent raised goes towards ensuring there is access to justice for the most vulnerable in the community.
TSP Managing Partner, Travis Schultz said supporting the vital work the Suncoast Community Legal Service (SCLS) provide for many vulnerable people in the community was a cause he and the firm felt strongly about.
“Everyone in our community should have access to justice no matter their background or circumstance and a fair understanding of the law shouldn’t be reserved to those with means,” Mr Schultz said.
“Our firm, along with other law firms on the Sunshine Coast, offer free legal advice to SCLS on a voluntary basis throughout the year, however this event helps us to aim a little higher by bringing together many like-minded legal professionals in order to achieve amazing fundraising targets that will go a long way to supporting the service which is only part-funded by government,” he said.
SCLS General Manager, Richard Matthews said the independent community organisation had been providing free legal advice to financially disadvantaged people for more than three decades and relies heavily on the support of Sunshine Coast lawyers and volunteers.
“The law can be overwhelming, especially if you are coming from a vulnerable place, so it is important that people know their rights and are not afraid to ask for help,” Mr Matthews said.
“We aim to make the process as simple as we can without burdening people with large legal bills. Events like the Suncoast Community Legal Service Wine Dinner go a long way in helping us provide our services and we thank everyone in the community, including host TSP and event sponsors, for making this event possible,” he said.
On the night, guests were wowed by keynote speaker Melinda Upton, Chair of national not-for-profit Minds Count, Board Director of the Corporate Mental Health Alliance Australia and newly appointed CEO of Positive Group, a company that helps businesses thrive by building the psychological skills of their people.
Ms Upton said that while 86% of employers say mental health, stress and burnout are top priorities, only 25% of workers believe their firm supports them with their mental and emotional health.
“A staggering ninety-one percent of organisations across the nation reported stress-related absences in the last year, and fifty percent of our workforce are burnt out,” Ms Upton said.
Ms Upton said in the wake of the pandemic, change fatigue has been one of the biggest contributors to employee burnout, and leaders need to step up when it comes to their workforce’s mental and emotional health.
“Currently, leaders are standing at the metaphorical rapids, trying to pull workers to safety rather than moving ‘upriver’ and helping them before they get into serious trouble. Ideally, we need leaders to work with their people more proactively to create workplaces that support positive mental and emotional health.
“The flow on effects – no pun intended – are a much happier workforce resulting in greater innovation, insights and productivity.”
Ms Upton, who was a leading intellectual property lawyer before joining Positive Group, shared her insights and experience about the role of mental health and diverse leadership in the law. Ms Upton was also the former Co-CEO of law firm DLA Piper Australia and the Global Co-Chair of Intellectual Property and Technology Group across 25 countries.
Award winning and family owned Longview Vineyard was the chosen wine partner for the event, with owner and winemaker, Peter Saturno kindly donating his time to share the intricacies of his wine with guests as they enjoyed a paired wine and delicious three-course meal.
The event was proudly sponsored by Coastline BMW and Ord Minnett Sunshine Coast.
To learn more about Travis Schultz & Partners, visit www.schultzlaw.com.au
To find out more about the Suncoast Community Legal Service, visit www.suncoastcommunitylegal.org
To learn more about Minds Count, visit www.mindscount.org