Corporate Social Responsibility

Dedication to a cause is as important to us as dedication to a client. We have many causes, both specific to Partners and those that span the firm. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee – comprising a cross-section of partners and staff – ensures that our environmental footprint is sound, and our community is supported.

The committee regularly meets to investigate options for our involvement in pro bono initiatives, comminuity assistance, charity sponsorship and environmental issues. Initiatives include:

  • Our Artist-in-Residence Program permeates the fabric of the firm. We offer a studio to emerging artists, a project which culminates in an annual public art exhibition held in the Australia Square Tower foyer and monies being raised for charity. As well as providing an opportunity for the artist, the Program supports The Rotary Club of Sydney and the activities of its New Generations Committee, aimed at providing assistance and developmental opportunities to a range of deserving young people in the community. The paintings of our past Artists-in-Residence, Joel Dickens, Dmitry Kuznichenko, Kyra Henley, Melanie Waugh and Phoebe Boyle are displayed within the firm. Our 2013/2014 artist is Samuel Quinteros who commenced his residency in October 2013
  • The Law Firms Encouraging and Assisting Promising Students (LEAPS) Program involving Year 9 students from Leumeah High School. Each Student is matched with a Curwoods employee who provides mentoring support to them throughout the year. Curwoods mentors are a broad mix of employees from across the business. The mentors and students meet once a fortnight during school term in our office and discuss topics set by the NSW Department of Education such as organisation, school reports, goal setting, respect, bullying and stereotypes. During the course of the Program, the students are taken to the District Court of New South Wales to meet and talk to a District Court Judge and to observe proceedings in session from the public gallery. The year of mentoring concludes with a graduation evening held at the school
  • The Matthew Talbot Hostel, part of the St Vincent de Paul Society, is the largest hostel for homeless men in the southern hemisphere. Curwoods makes regular financial donations and donates items such as winter clothes, blankets, hats and socks. Moreover, a cross-section of Curwoods staff volunteer at the Hostel’s kiosk every Thursday fortnight after work, on a roster basis, which allows us direct interaction with Hostel’s residents. Curwoods staff have been volunteering at the Hostel since 2010
  • A series of morning teas where employees are encouraged to bake goods and donate to the nominated charity for the 2014 financial year. These charities include:
    • Matthew Talbot Hostel providing meals and accommodation for homeless men
    • Jeans for Genes Day dedicated to the Children’s Medical Research Institute to reduce the number of children born with genetic illnesses
    • Pink Ribbon Day which raises awareness about breast cancer, as well as raises funds for research, early prevention and patient support programs
    • Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea raising vital funds for cancer research, prevention and support services
  • We are rolling out a pro bono partnership with the Rotary Club of Sydney and the Police Citizens Youth Club at Woolloomooloo to provide legal service aimed primarily to assist inner city youth
  • Our employees participate in the annual Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation Charity Cricket Challenge
  • The Salvation Army Kmart Wishing Tree appeal, Australia’s largest Christmas gift appeal, giving Curwoods employees the opportunity to give a gift to someone less fortunate who may otherwise not receive a present at Christmas
  • Donating to charity each year through our Christmas cards. This year it was the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation to help them purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment, provide life-saving services and training programs, and fund medical and child health research
  • Our partners and employees volunteer for a number of not-for-profit organisations, including Matana Foundation for Young People, The Rotary Club of Sydney, McGrath Foundation, Matthew Talbot Hostel, the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel and Northern Beaches Interchange to name a few
  • Participating in toner cartridge and paper recycling and waste reduction program where we have:
    • Purchased environmentally friendly products – our preferred paper supply is sourced from Australia using a minimum 60% recycled paper and we also have ‘think before you print’ mentality
    • Set all our computers to a double-sided printing default and we advocate electronic documents at every possible instance
    • Replaced old globes with more energy efficient globes
    • Replaced our old servers with virtual servers, which use a fraction of the power that the physical computers need to run
    • A storage audit consultancy for rationalisation of office storage and utilities management (less cost and a space reduction per employee)
    • Converted 50% of our reference library to an online utility
    • Encouraged use of video and teleconferencing where possible
    • A NABERS water rating of 4 stars, a NABERS energy rating with GreenPower of 5 stars, and, a NABERS energy rating without GreenPower of 4.5 stars in our Sydney office
    • Auto-timed air conditioning within business hours and lowering of window blinds during warmer weather (minimising mechanical servicing requirements).

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