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Our vision for reconciliation
'To recognise, respect and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and the unique relationship of traditional owners with their lands and waters, and to work towards a society where all Australians enjoy the same standard of living while each community retains its own cultural identity.'
Approach to reconciliation
Arnold Bloch Leibler’s approach to reconciliation has been fundamentally influenced by core beliefs of the firm, partnering with Indigenous groups and people and their supporters over many years.
A commitment to serving the public has always been deeply ingrained in Arnold Bloch Leibler’s culture, and this has stood side-by-side with the firm’s dedication to providing the highest quality legal service to its clients. One of the ways that Arnold Bloch Leibler contributes to the community is through its public interest law practice. The firm engages in public interest law to defend or assert rights and interests, develop the law, or improve the administration of justice in the public interest. The firm assists individuals and organisations when the particular right or interest to be defended or asserted is of wider public interest.
Arnold Bloch Leibler’s public interest law practice adopts a principled, structured and whole-of-firm approach to working with Indigenous communities and their supporters. The firm utilises its strengths from its private commercial practice and mirrors these strengths in its long-term pro bono collaborations ‘on the ground’, where the real work of reconciliation is done. In doing so, the firm does not patronise. It avoids paternalism. And the firm recognises the mixed motives for doing the work – not only is it the right thing to do, it is good for staff morale, sharpens skills, leads to other work and helps attract the brightest and best talent to the firm. In short, the firm recognises that these relationships are very good for business, are central to the firm’s identity, and are not merely ‘feel good’ adjuncts to the firm’s practice.
Arnold Bloch Leibler's approach to reconciliation is shaped by the firm's close interaction over many years with Indigenous peoples and those supporting Indigenous empowerment in relation to a variety of legal matters. Arnold Bloch Leibler's focus for many years has been on overcoming the legal obstacles that combine to entrench the status quo of systemic Indigenous disempowerment, which lead to marginalisation and dysfunction. Through the partnerships the firm has fostered, the firm's lawyers have developed a respectful cross-cultural awareness of Indigenous peoples and their cultures as well as the pressures and obstacles faced on a daily basis. The firm's lawyers do not purport to be experts in Indigenous culture. Rather, the firm has a demonstrated capability of communicating clearly in cross-cultural environments and of receiving and giving effect to instructions to advance Indigenous empowerment.
The firm is acutely aware of the importance of ensuring that its public interest law clients are placed in a position from which they make important decisions with confidence, acting on the basis of informed consent, and that traditional decision-making processes are always respected and supported.
Cultural aspects of the firm's heritage have also strongly influenced the firm's approach and commitment to reconciliation. Historically, Arnold Bloch Leibler has had a strong association with Jewish community groups as a result of the backgrounds of the firm's founder and many of its partners and long-standing clients. Relationships between Jews and Indigenous Australians are built on a foundation of mutual respect, solidarity and empathy - of helping each other through difficult and challenging times.
Arnold Bloch Leibler's RAP 2012-2013 and 2011 Review
RAP 2011 and 2010 Review
RAP 2010 and 2009 Review