The DibbsREACH program

At DibbsBarker, we believe that just one person can make a difference in our community. Our commitment is to provide pro bono legal advice to individuals and charitable organisations and contribute to the community through donations of time, expertise or money depending on the need.

We achieve this through DibbsREACH, our pro bono and community involvement program. As a firm, our stated focus areas are supporting community needs and healthcare (including research charities and mental health). The long term and ongoing objective is collective and effective contribution particularly in our identified areas.

Our program is structured in three parts:

Dibbs in the community + Dibbs pro bono + DibbsGiving

As part of our policy, all staff members are encouraged to participate in the program and their participation is recognised as a key criterion in our people & development framework.

Dibbs in the community

Our staff members love to give something back and many of them give their time and expertise to community initiatives. As a firm, we focus on supporting charity partners who act in one or more of our four nominated areas:

  • alleviating poverty and homelessness, particularly in youngsters
  • improving health outcomes, particularly for youngsters
  • improving access to justice for all
  • supporting action on environmental issues.

The long term and ongoing objective is effective, collective contribution from the DibbsBarker team in these areas.

Dibbs pro bono

Not surprisingly, we believe that one of the most important fundamental achievements in a community is equal access to justice. We take pride in the fact that we use our knowledge and expertise to assist people and organisations to achieve their goals and protect their rights when it might not have otherwise been possible for them to do so. From setting up charitable organisations to providing advice and legal representation, our staff members play a valuable role in this area.

Our major pro bono client is the Starlight Children's Foundation, with whom we have partnered for a number of years now. We will also consider matters referred to us from independent referral networks or our own staff member referrals.

Our policy sets a target for each of our full-time partners, lawyers, graduates and paralegals to aim to undertake 24 chargeable hours of approved pro bono legal work per calendar year (pro-rata for part-time). That work can take the form of pro bono files or legal services at various community legal centres.

DibbsGiving

DibbsGiving is based on fundraising activities arranged by the firm from time to time and on individual donations to nominated charities from within our focus areas. Those charities benefit from donations throughout the financial year and at the end of the year, the donations raised will be matched by DibbsBarker.

Our charity partners

Greening Australia

Greening Australia is passionate about conserving and restoring healthy and resilient ecosystems to reconnect landscapes and recreate wildlife corridors. They deliver practical hands-on solutions that conserve and restore biodiversity, improve river health and support sustainable agriculture. They aim to engage with local communities and partners to empower involvement and deliver real and sustainable environmental outcomes.
 

Justice Connect and LawRight 

These independent not-for-profit organisations provide access to justice through coordination of pro bono legal services to people experiencing disadvantage, and the community organisations that support them.

Property Industry Foundation

The Property Industry Foundation (PIF) was founded in NSW in 1996 and has a vision is to unite the entire national property and construction industry in an independent initiative to support community programs aimed at youth homelessness. Every night across NSW over 11,000 children and young people are homeless; across Australia, over 36,000. PIF currently raises in the vicinity of $1.5 million each year. They distribute donations and provide in-kind building services to approximately 20 children’s charities. PIF has proven to be very successful as a forum and a focal point for people in the property and construction industry to use their skills and resources to help solve a very important problem - youth homelessness. Corporate Donors and industry supporters give annual donations, as well as significant contributions of time, expertise and materials towards PIF’s charity building projects.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute is a world leading translational research institute focused on cancer, infectious diseases, mental health and a range of complex diseases. They work in close collaboration with clinicians and other research institutes, with the aim to improve health by developing new diagnostics, better treatments and prevention strategies. QIMR Berghofer is home to more than 600 scientists, students and support staff in five research departments (in more than 50 separate laboratories) and a support division.

As part of this initiative, DibbsBarker participates in the annual Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 200km cycle ride raising money for cancer research for QIMR. DibbsBarker has participated in the annual ride for five consecutive years, since it's inception in 2011. In 2015, the DibbsBarker team raised more than $38,000, placing sixth out of the 184 teams that entered the event.

Starlight Children's Foundation

Since being formed as an Australian children’s charity in 1988, the Starlight Children's Foundation has brightened the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children, and their families, throughout Australia.
Starlight provides programs integral to the total care of seriously ill children – while health professionals focus on treating the illness, Starlight is there to lift the spirits of the child, giving them the opportunity to laugh, play and be a child again.

The FSHD Global Research Foundation

An international and not-for-profit organisation dedicated to finding a treatment and cure for Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy, which is the second most common form of Muscular Dystrophy seen in adults and the third most common genetic hereditary disease seen in skeletal muscle. DibbsBarker provides permanent office space and office resources to representatives of the Foundation and takes part in various fundraising activities supporting the Foundation, including raising awareness.

The Wayside Chapel

The Wayside Chapel has been providing marginalised members of our community with access to essential health, welfare, social and recreational services since 1964. Each year Wayside provides, amongst other services, thousands of community meals, changes of clothing, one-to-one support sessions, referrals to services and agencies, and activities for young people and visitors with long-term mental health issues. DibbsBarker staff members have collected winter woolies to keep Wayside's visitors sleeping rough on the streets warm during cold nights, and spent days with their teams, and even with clients, preparing and serving the homeless community a welcome lunch.

Contacts

For further information about DibbsREACH, please contact:
 
Penny Murray
Partner, DibbsREACH Sponsor Partner
penny.murray@dibbsbarker.com