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Annual Progress Report 2023

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Message from the co-chairs

We are very pleased to publish Arnold Bloch Leibler's second Annual Progress Report on the firm’s Indigenous Solidarity Statement of Commitment published in 2021 (Statement of Commitment). We are proud of the work Arnold Bloch Leibler and the Arnold Bloch Leibler Indigenous Solidarity Network (AISN) have undertaken in 2023 towards the priorities we set in the first Annual Progress Report published in 2022 and in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The purpose of this Annual Progress Report is to reflect on this work, track our progress and set our priorities for next year.

As well as celebrating successes, this Report is an opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on the instances where we did not achieve some of our 2023 priorities. The AISN uses an impact measurement model, as set out in the Statement of Commitment, to track progress on our goals. This model is intended to shift our focus to the impact of the actions taken, rather than focusing on actions taken alone. We are also continuing a practice we established last year: sharing our priorities for 2024 in this Report.

We feel it is crucially important to address the outcome of the Voice referendum. Much of the advocacy the AISN and the firm undertook over the course of the year was directed towards trying to achieve a successful referendum. The result of the referendum was incredibly disappointing. In light of the referendum outcome, we seek to reaffirm the AISN’s solidarity with and commitment towards helping to achieve justice for First Nations people.

We will continue to accept the invitation contained in the Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for a better future. We will continue to take our lead from First Nations leaders and organisations over the coming year to help determine what our next steps should be as a network.

We would like to thank all the members of the AISN for their work throughout the year, and in particular Peter Seidel and Bridgid Cowling for their invaluable input and support. We also extend our sincere thanks to the partnership of Arnold Bloch Leibler, in particular to Mark Leibler AC, Henry Lanzer AM and Christine Fleer for their ongoing support of the AISN and its events and initiatives. We also thank the marketing, events, human resources, IT and catering teams for their assistance and hard work.

In 2024, we will continue to action the firm’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous solidarity. In doing so, we will seek the views of First Nations leaders, organisations, clients and friends to inform the ways in which we pursue that commitment.

Julia Heyward, Max Griffin, Annie Ward-Ambler, Dominic Bilton