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Herbert Smith Freehills will host a number of Australian football legends at events to mark the 2016 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May. 

The firm, a proud supporter of the LGBTI community, will be hosting an IDAHOT cocktail function for staff in Melbourne, with special guests from the Essendon Bombers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos AFL clubs.

Bombers Captain Brendan Goddard and CEO Xavier Campbell will both speak at the event on the importance of diversity and inclusion in sport.

Other speakers at the event will include: Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, Leader of the Australian Equality Party and founder of Essendon LGBTIQ supporter group The Purple Bombers; Nicole Hayes, author of From the Outer: Footy Like You’re Never Heard It; Daniel Witthaus, founder of the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE) which supports LGBTI young people in rural Australia; Angie Greene, founder of not-for-profit LGBTIQ organisation Stand Up Events; and trans Essendon supporter Michelle Sheppard.

Not to be outdone, the Herbert Smith Freehills office in Brisbane will also host a cocktail function tomorrow evening, where staff will be joined by the founder of the gay and inclusive Sydney Convicts Rugby Club, Andrew Purchas. Andrew will share insights into the impact of homophobia in sport and detail what can be done to make Australian sport more inclusive for LGBTI players and fans.

Members of Brisbane’s gay and inclusive rugby team, the Brisbane Hustlers, will also attend the event which will be streamed live to staff at a cocktail function in Herbert Smith Freehills’ Sydney office.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Regional Managing Partner, Asia and Australia, Sue Gilchrist said: “We are delighted to welcome so many legends of football to the firm for this important day aimed at tackling homophobia and transphobia.

“As a firm, we are absolutely committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture because we know that diverse perspectives significantly enhance our creativity, problem solving skills and our ability to innovate, which results in a more rewarding workplace for our people and better service for our clients.”

Creating a high-performing, diverse and inclusive workplace is one of Herbert Smith Freehills’ strategic objectives, and LGBTI inclusion is one of the firm’s three global diversity and inclusion priorities.

The firm’s Australian LGBTI network was launched in March 2013 and now boasts over 450 members. This year, the firm sponsored the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival – both for the second consecutive year – and Brisbane’s MELT Festival for the first time.

Created in 2004, IDAHOT is an opportunity each year to recognise the discrimination faced by LGBTI people around the world, and celebrate sexual and gender diversities. It is now the largest LGBTI solidarity event in the world with events taking place in more than 120 countries worldwide.

Key contacts

Sue Gilchrist photo

Sue Gilchrist

Partner and Head of Intellectual Property, Australia, Sydney

Sue Gilchrist