Guru In The Spotlight: Aidan Hawkes

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Q: What area at KWM do work in and what is your specialisation?

A: I work in the Construction DR team in Perth.

Q: How long have you been with the firm?

A: I've been with KWM for about two and a half years.

Q: Why are you passionate about our Community Impact programme?

A: Firstly because it's such a successful and valuable program. Our Community Impact programme is a really effective mechanism for us to provide assistance using the resources which we already have, such as the knowledge, skills and experience of our people, in a targeted way which ensures that it has the greatest possible impact.

Secondly because of the people who are involved. Seeing all of the passionate and dedicated people who devote their time to the various initiatives is really encouraging and motivating.  

Q: What projects or programs have you been involved in recently?

A: I've recently been part of the team assisting Binarri-binya yarrawoo with their work on behalf of the Indigenous peoples in the East Kimberley region. The work being done by BBY and the Empowered Communities initiative in the wake of COVID-19 is really important and it's great to be able to offer our help.

Q: Any stories you can share?

A: My very first pro-bono matter involved saving a pod of fibreglass dolphins for the Perth Children's Hospital.

Q: Why did you get involved? What are your motivations?

A: My motivation stems from a belief that lawyers occupy a unique position as the interface between members of society and a legal system that can often be quite daunting and inaccessible. Unfortunately its often those that are most vulnerable and are most in need of protection who have the most difficult accessing the legal system. I therefore think it's important to recognise the opportunities which have helped us to reach this position, and to provide assistance to those that haven't been so fortunate.

Q: What skills or experiences have you gained through this work?

A: I've found that the Community Impact work has really broadened my skillset at both ends of the scale. For example, the Street Law clinic provided a great opportunity in my first 6 months at the firm to work autonomously on smaller matters and manage the day to day minutiae of a file while working directly with clients. At the other end of the scale, the work with BBY and the Youth Justice initiative was a unique opportunity to focus on broad legal and social policy objectives and take more of a macro perspective.

Q: What tips do you have for others thinking about getting involved in the Community Impact program?

A: Reflect on the areas or causes that you feel strongly about and keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved. Talk to a member of the Community Impact team about your interests so that they can put you in contact with the relevant person or let you know if any opportunities arise.

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