Out for Australia and Baker & McKenzie held a marriage equality panel moderated by Dr Matthew Collins QC, barrister, Victorian Bar, discussing -  How best should corporate Australia and others engage in a “respectful” discussion surrounding the issue of marriage equality and a potential plebiscite?
The panel comprised:

  • Georgie Harman, CEO, beyondblue
  • Emeritus Professor Dennis Altman AM, La Trobe University
  • Craig Andrade, Partner, Baker & McKenzie
  • Tanya Matthewson, Chief of Staff, Consulting, PwC
  • David Brine, Executive Manager Retail Banking Services, Commonwealth Bank (and co-chair of Unity, CBA's LGBTI employee network)

Craig Andrade, Partner at Baker & McKenzie and Head of the BakerLGBTI & Allies network, said:

Baker & McKenzie was proud to host such an esteemed panel to discuss an issue of such importance to many in the Australian community.

"Baker and McKenzie, together with over 1000 organisations across Australia, has signed the Australian Marriage Equality petition in support of marriage equality.

"The lively panel discussion traversed topical issues relating to concerns of corporate involvement in the current debate, as well as the risk that a potential plebiscite could have a damaging effect both on achieving marriage equality and on LGBTI Australians and their families, through a potentially vitrolic campaign.

"Interestingly, a straw poll conducted on show of hands indicated that 80% of those present did not favour holding a plebiscite, but instead waiting up to 3 years for another federal election. Baker & McKenzie's commitment to marriage equality in Australia follows on from the position the firm took internationally in signing  amicus curiae brief in support of marriage equality in the US Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges," Craig added.

Recently, the firm celebrated Wear It Purple - a youth-led organisation that exists to support and empower rainbow (i.e. sexuality and gender diverse) people. Wear It Purple has a simple message - you have the right to be proud of who you are. All of Baker & McKenzie's offices celebrated the day by wearing purple and hosting a firm-wide afternoon tea to show their support.

Baker & McKenzie was named in the The Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) top 20 Employers in Australia  2016 for LGBTI inclusion.The Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) is the definitive national benchmark on LGBTI workplace inclusion and comprises the largest and only national employee survey designed to gauge the overall impact of inclusion initiatives on organisational culture as well as identifying and non-identifying employees. The Index drives best practice in Australia and sets a comparative benchmark for Australian employers across all sectors.

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