21 November 2014: Clayton Utz has actively supported The Wayside Chapel's Aboriginal Project for the past six years, both financially and in-kind. Last Wednesday 12 November 2014 was a highlight in our partnership when four Clayton Utz partners shared a meal with about forty of Wayside’s Aboriginal visitors and saw first-hand Wayside’s life-changing work in the Kings Cross community.
Wayside’s Aboriginal Project engages and supports Aboriginal people who have been marginalised by homelessness, drug addiction, incarceration and mental illness in the inner City of Sydney. This is achieved by creating a safe space for people to ‘be’ during the day, as well as an activities-based program and provision of essential social support.
The Clayton Utz partners - Kate Jordan, Bruce Cooper, Geoff Hoffman and Steven Klimt - visited Wayside to learn more about its programs and activities and share in the weekly ‘mob lunch’ with Wayside's Aboriginal visitors, including a hearty lunch of kangaroo stew and chicken curry. The ‘mob lunch’ meal program has operated every Wednesday since 2011 and is a way to bring together Wayside’s Aboriginal community to connect over a meal and to teach essential living skills including meal planning, budgeting, shopping and food preparation.
Clayton Utz Deputy Chief Executive Partner - People and Development, Kate Jordan, said the visit was a great opportunity to learn more about Wayside's work and meet the members of the community it supports.
"Before the visit I knew that Wayside is all about creating community where there is no "us and them" and no judgement, but I had not seen this first-hand or witnessed the impact. The Aboriginal Project at Wayside is making a real difference for its Aboriginal visitors - it provides an environment where visitors feel a sense of belonging and it builds community - and all of this is done in Wayside's unique way. Wayside is a very special place."
The Wayside Chapel's CEO Graham Long said without the support of Clayton Utz, Wayside would not be able to provide such an essential service to Aboriginal people.
"Clayton Utz currently funds the employment of our Senior Aboriginal Worker, Monique Wiseman, and has provided almost $500,000 in grants through the Clayton Utz Foundation since our partnership began. It was a pleasure sharing lunch with Clayton Utz partners and celebrating a partnership that has achieved so much," Rev. Long said.
The Wayside Chapel is a long-standing Clayton Utz Community Partner. As well as providing volunteers and in-kind support, Clayton Utz lawyers have provided over 950 hours of pro bono legal assistance to Wayside since 2008.