PRO BONO LAWYER OF THE YEAR & VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2016

Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation

The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation is delighted to announce the annual winners of The Foundation awards:

The winners are:

  • Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year:        Kristen Lopes
  • Volunteer of the Year:                    Paul Rankin

Kristen and Paul have both demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the work of the Foundation and the communities in which we live, work and operate.

Kristen Lopes (Partner, Sydney)

Over the past two years, Kristen has made a very substantial contribution to our firm’s pro bono practice. She has been involved in 21 separate pro bono files, personally generated 115.6 pro bono hours, introduced new community clients to the firm resulting in further pro bono instructions for her and others, and actively championed, supported and promoted our pro bono practice internally and externally. Kristen has completed and supervised pro bono legal work for a wide range of community clients, including Women’s Legal Services QLD, Save the Children Australia, Women’s Legal Services NSW, the Arts Law Centre of Australia, Barwon Community Legal Service, Our Watch, Autism Spectrum Australia, Heathcote Public School Association, Disabled Wintersports Australia and Xpotential. As I am sure you will agree, Kristen is an extremely deserving winner of the 2016 Colin Biggers Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award and I thank her and her team for this most outstanding contribution. Kristen is, without a doubt, a pro bono guru!

Paul Rankin (Finance Team Leader, Melbourne)

Over the past year, Paul has provided local community client Woor-Dungin with substantial and ongoing accounting support. Paul initially did a complete analysis of their accounts, reviewing whether they were recording transactions accurately and reporting their cash flow and profit and loss accurately. Paul made necessary corrections to their chart of accounts, their current year figures, and adjusted recording procedures, including implementation and training, and improved reporting to management. On an on-going basis, Paul has provided mentoring to Woor-Dungin’s bookkeeper (who has changed three times this year), filled in when no bookkeeper was available and provided regular financial advice to management. Additionally, Paul has participated as a mentor for our firm’s signature professional volunteering initiative, the Youth Employment Project (YEP). Paul continuously puts his hand up to volunteer for all Foundation initiatives and is extremely well deserving of the 2016 Bob Paisley Volunteer of the Year Award.

As winners of this year’s awards, Kristen and Paul will be handed a Wolfgang Sievers photograph (purchased by our Foundation last year, with the funds donated to a major charity) to hang in their office until the next awards are made:

1.    The Colin Biggers Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award: an image of an Aboriginal mother and baby taken at Weipa in 1957. It is as truly wonderful photo, and part of a short, iconic series of photos he took at Weipa.

2.    The Bob Paisley Volunteer of the Year Award: an early photograph of the Palace Sans Souci in Potsdam, taken in 1936.

Wolfgang Sievers came to Australia in 1938 as a refugee from Germany. He became the pre-eminent industrial and architectural photographer in Australia. His works are visually marvellous and his driving spirit was the dignity of man. Before he died, Sievers gave all of his remaining photographs to Julian Burnside QC to sell for the benefit of human rights causes. It is a 5-10 year project. More information is available here.