The firm's role in the expansion is a public symbol of support for its LGBTIQ+ employees
HBA Legal has backed Pride in Law on its expansion into WA.
The launch of Pride in Law in 2017 in Queensland marked the first time an independent legal association was established for LGBTIQ+ legal professionals in Australia. The association seeks to educate the legal community on LGBTIQ+ issues to eliminate “homophobia, gender inequality, and other affronts to individuals, families and communities,” HBA Legal said in a media release.
“We have an incredibly diverse group of people working at HBA, including a number of LGBTIQ+, so being part of Pride in Law is a public symbol of support for those individuals and we look forward to helping drive this important agenda within the legal community more broadly,” HBA Legal managing director Brett Ablong said.
Ablong also highlighted firm partner Dr Andrew Lu OAM’s work with the LGBTIQ+ community in WA. On Wear It Purple Day 2020, Lu spoke on a panel discussion hosted by Out for Australia at the University of Western Australia.
“It is through efforts like Andrew’s that real change is created which benefits everyone because a more accepting society is a better society for all,” Ablong said.
The discussion Lu joined was themed “Out at Work.”
“Fostering a workplace culture where everyone is able to speak their truth and be themselves helps to empower these diverse voices,” Lu said.
Pride in Law founder and national director Dean Clifford-Jones said that the association’s expansion into the WA legal community with HBA Legal’s support was “truly a milestone for our LGBTIQ+ law association.”
“As an association wholly run by volunteers, every connection and piece of visibility helps drive the change to greater inclusion,” he said. “On a personal note, I know there is positive change occurring all around us. I only have to look back to my own childhood, wherein it was a crime to be gay in parts of Australia during the majority of my schooling years. When we jump forward to 2020, we should pause and celebrate how far we've come thanks to leaders like Andrew Lu at HBA Legal.”
Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, a formal launch for the expansion is expected to be held in Perth.