Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) Executive Counsel Carla Aumann has been announced as the 2022 recipient of the firm’s Keith Steele Pro Bono Leadership Medal, which recognises individuals from within HSF who have made an outstanding contribution to the pro bono sector.
The medal was first presented in 2012 to honour the memory and vision of Keith Steele, a highly respected former partner of the firm. Keith was a senior litigation partner who held various leadership positions within the firm. He was a passionate leader in the pro bono practice, and among many achievements, co-founded the firm’s Pro Bono Committee in Sydney and The Shopfront Youth Legal Centre.
Carla joined HSF over 15 years ago and uses her skills as a talented litigator to support people in the community who may not otherwise have access to justice. This has included representing a survivor of the Stolen Generations and leading numerous key strategic pro bono projects with organisations including the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
Carla was one of the inaugural team leaders for the Women’s Homelessness Prevention Project in Melbourne over 10 years ago, which HSF supports through Justice Connect’s Homeless Law program. In presenting the award, it was noted that Carla’s passion, energy and mentorship were key to establishing and maintaining the program at HSF. Carla’s work leading the Women’s Homelessness Prevention Project advances HSF’s impact in the community by increasing access to justice for vulnerable women and children.
On receiving the medal, recipient Carla Aumann reflected: “The pro bono work I’ve done at HSF has really enriched my career, and I am privileged to be able to play a role in encouraging and supporting others to get involved in the meaningful and impactful pro bono work we do.”
In announcing the Keith Steele Pro Bono Leadership Medal winner for 2022, HSF partner and Chair of the firm’s Global Pro Bono and Responsible Business Council, Sue Gilchrist, said: “Carla brings a deep sense of empathy and care to each and every pro bono client and matter.
“Carla’s passion for assisting our pro bono clients is well known across the firm; she is a “go-to” person for pro bono in our Melbourne office and all of us who work with her greatly value her wisdom and energy. It’s heartening to see our next generation of talented leaders in pro bono step up, and Carla is one of these”, she concluded.
In addition to her pro bono leadership, Carla is also a dedicated Reconciliation Champion and is deeply committed to First Nations justice.