Corporate Social Responsibility
Contribution to our community is a way of life at Wotton + Kearney. It’s at the core of how we conduct ourselves and how we do business.
‘Community Footprint’, Wotton + Kearney’s pro-bono and corporate social responsibility program, was established in January 2012. Over the last five years, it has become a key initiative across the firm’s four offices.
“Taking part in the opportunities offered through Community Footprint has really connected me with the Perth community and with my W+K colleagues across the country. As an immigrant to Australia, I’ve found charity work has given me insight into my adopted home’s people and culture which I’ve found crucial to feeling my own sense of belonging. I’m grateful to get to participate in these initiatives and honoured to give back to a community that has welcomed and embraced me.”
Sarah Derham, Office Manager, Perth Office
Wotton + Kearney’s 2016/17 charity partner is OzHarvest.
OzHarvest was founded in November 2004 by event’s organiser, Ronni Kahn. Stunned by the amount of food wasted by the hospitality industry, she decided to do something about it.
OzHarvest is the first perishable food rescue organisation in Australia that collects quality excess food from more than 2,000 commercial outlets and delivers it, direct and free of charge, to more than 800 charities. In short, it rescues surplus food that would otherwise end up on landfill and redistributes the quality food to vulnerable people across Australia.
Since 2004, it has delivered over 60 million meals and saved more than 20,000 tonnes of food from ending up in landfill. With nearly 3 million Australians living in poverty, this is a very important contribution.
Our focus this year is to raise funds and awareness of the great work of OzHarvest and encourage people to think about how they can minimise food waste at home and at work.
To learn more about OzHarvest view this short video:
So They Can
Did you know that women and girls represent the majority of the world’s poor? 70% of the 1 billion poorest people are female.
Women and girls all over the world are held back simply because of their gender. They are disproportionately affected by discrimination, violence and exploitation. Too many are deprived the opportunity of an education and to basic health services.
At Wotton + Kearney we believe that every child has the right not to live in poverty, and that women should be empowered, not oppressed.
In 2015/16 Wotton + Kearney partnered with So They Can, an inspiring charity empowering communities in Kenya and Tanzania through education so they can break the poverty cycle. Our partnership started with sponsoring the education of Joyce Wambui, a 7 year old girl in Kenya who attends the Aberdare Ranges Primary School, a school established and run by So They Can. As the partnership with So They Can continued, our vision of how we could support the charity grew, culminating in the firm setting a target of raising at least $50,000 for So They Can (enough to support the education of 80 unsponsored children for a year), and sending a team over to Kenya to lend some hands on assistance. This all came to fruition in August 2016, with the firm raising in excess of $100,000 for So They Can – doubling our fundraising target.
You can read our full report of our partnership with So They Can here.
To watch a short video click the image below:
International Justice Mission
IJM is a global organisation that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local law enforcement to provide protection and rescue to victims of violence and to bring perpetrators to justice in local courts. IJM addresses issues of slavery, sex trafficking, property grabbing, police abuse of power and sexual violence, working in nearly 20 communities throughout South and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.
As people working in the legal profession, we understand the importance of a well-functioning justice system and rely on the existence and competent enforcement of law to do our jobs. However, in much of the developing world, a broken justice system is leaving many people vulnerable to violence and exploitation. The legal sector is perfectly placed to support efforts to strengthen justice systems in those communities and bring to account those currently acting with impunity.
W+K supported and attended IJM’s ‘Premier’s Breakfast’ event, featuring talks by Chief Justice John Pascoe AO CVO, The Honourable Mike Baird MP and Amber Hawker (the founder of IJM Australia). The speakers revealed that modern day slavery continues to thrive today with 35.8 million people enslaved and 2 million children exploited in the commercial sex industry today. The UN estimates 4 billion people around the world are not protected by local justice systems.
W+K has worked with IJM to raise awareness about modern day slavery.
To watch a short video click the image below:
Black Dog Institute
Depression and anxiety are now the leading cause of long-term sickness absence in the developed world. They are also associated with presenteeism, where an employee remains at work despite their condition, causing significantly reduced productivity. In Australia alone, poor mental health at work is estimated to cost the economy over $12billion per year.
For our core 2014/15 CSR initiative, we partnered with The Black Dog Institute, a world leader in the prevention, early intervention, diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder, and suicide prevention. The Institute is unique in its approach by focusing on rapid translation of research into improved clinical practice, increased accessibility to mental health services and delivery of long term public health solutions.
By partnering with the Black Dog Institute, we had the opportunity to not only support Black Dog through fundraising and advocacy, but also to be educated about the many issues surrounding mental health.
Royal Far West
The highlight of our 2013/14 CSR program was our partnership with Royal Far West (RFW), an organisation based in Manly, which provides health care services to children living in rural NSW.
- 9 staff members participated in a 495km cycle ride from Dubbo to Wagga Wagga, raising over $125,000 for the refurbishment of the RFW “home from home” building in Manly;
- Chief Executive Partner David Kearney raised almost $7,000 for RFW as part of his New York Marathon effort;
- 5 staff members spent the night on the roof of the RFW building, raising over $17,000 to fund an autism camp for 10 families;
- the Sydney office donated gifts of books and toys to the RFW Christmas appeal;
- 5 staff members spent an afternoon decorating a treatment room at the RFW building; and
- over $30,000 worth of IT and office equipment was donated to RFW.
The Tabitha Foundation was our inaugural CSR partner.
In November 2012 a team of 6 Wotton + Kearney house builders travelled to Cambodia to build homes for impoverished Cambodian families, in partnership with Tabitha. Prior to their trip, the team and other members of the firm organised and participated in a number of fundraising events, included a charity dinner and auction and the SMH Half Marathon.
Over $21,500 was raised, buying enough supplies to build 13 houses – in just 3 days!
Other CSR initiatives
Other charitable and not-for-profit organisations Wotton + Kearney partners with through Community Footprint include:
- Lou’s Place, a women’s refuge in Sydney
- Launch Housing, a not-for-profit in Melbourne which helps Victorians experiencing housing crisis or homelessness
- The Smith Family Christmas Toy & Book Appeal
- Cancer Council “Biggest Morning Tea”
- RSPCA Morning Tea
- R U OK? Day