Proximity

Community

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At Proximity, we understand that sustainable, positive community impact requires a conscious and collective effort.

Our
Community
Themes

We show our dedication and create impact by assisting not-for-profit organisations that address issues in our communities, focusing on one or more of our Community Themes:

  • Improving mental health
  • Progressing reconciliation and empowerment
  • Preventing family violence

Our
Community
Partners

We focus on long-term, sustainable support to organisations that contribute to one or more of our Community Themes. If you are a community organisation operating in our Community Themes, please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help.

Mental Health

Reconciliation

Family violence

Supporting young men in the Canberra region through free counselling, volunteer mentoring and education programs. They have helped thousands of young guys get through tough or lonely times with the least amount of pain or harm to themselves or those around them. Menslink helps young blokes reach their full potential and become the adult men they want to be, for themselves, their families, and the Canberra community. Proximity has provided pro bono services to Menslink since 2011.

Website

Mental health

Reconciliation

An alliance of passionate organisations and individuals working together to drive social inclusion and influence change. Its purpose is to improve societal attitudes and behaviours towards people from different backgrounds, perspectives and circumstances. Inclusive Australia seeks to bring people together from different walks of life to break down barriers and prejudices and ultimately achieve long-term behavioural change that will decrease the social and economic cost of exclusion. Proximity became a founding partner of Inclusive Australia in 2019 and provides it with legal, consulting and commercial services.

Website

Mental health

Reconciliation

Family violence

A not-for-profit charitable organisation located in country NSW. It was established to support women who have completed rehabilitation from alcohol and other drug misuse and wish to consolidate their recovery. The work of the Farm is underpinned by the belief that whatever has been lost in a person’s life can be restored. Proximity has provided support for the Farm since its inception as a not-for-profit in 2018.

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Mental health

Reconciliation

The ACT Law Society provides a number of pro bono legal services to the Canberra community. We contribute to both the Legal Advice Bureau as well as the ACT Pro Bono Clearing House, and have done since the firm was established in 2011. The Legal Advice Bureau provides individuals with a free 15-minute appointment with a lawyer to discuss legal and quasi-legal issues. The Pro Bono Clearing House provides individuals and small businesses with a referral service for matters which other community legal centres cannot assist with. Proximity provides both an operational secondee per annum for three months, and our employees sit on the rotating assessment panel.

Website

Mental health

Reconciliation

Family violence

Providing legal and social work assistance to women who cannot afford a private lawyer and do not qualify for Legal Aid. The areas of which are The Women’s Legal Centre’s core capabilities are family law, domestic violence, victims of crime, employment, and discrimination. Proximity has provided legal assistance to The Women’s Legal Centre since 2019.

Website

Mental health

Reconciliation

An outreach and support service dedicated to girls and young women in the Canberra region. Fearless Women aims to create a community that encourages and equips girls and young women to be what they want to be through connection, empowerment, individuality, care, integrity, and ultimately, fearlessness.

Website

“We are incredibly grateful for the pro bono legal advice and support we have received from the Proximity team to get Fearless Women up and running”

Gai Brodtmann
Board Member
Fearless Women

“Proximity’s different, because they don’t just give us legal advice, they actually work with our documents and processes and forms to change things for the better”

Martin Fisk
CEO, Menslink

“Proximity’s support ensures women can access their rights and entitlements in family law and employment law matters.”

Ania Zalewska
Client Services Manager
Women’s Legal Centre (ACT & Region)

Pro Bono

legal advice

We were the first incorporated legal practice to become a signatory to the Australian Pro Bono Centre’s Aspirational Pro Bono Target of 35 hours per annum per lawyer, and Proximity has exceeded that target in each of the past four years.

Pro bono is an important way we have a positive impact on our local communities. Importantly, our pro bono isn’t limited to legal advice – we provide our full suite of consulting, legal, and commercial services to community organisations as required.


Governance

Proximity has been built on a strong culture of pro bono and a sense of community.

Proximity’s strong and innovative pro bono culture stems from our co-founders valuing pro bono work for both the communities we operate in, and for the business, through improved staff engagement, a sense of purpose and connection to community. Both co-founders have participated in pro bono each year since its formation, making 2020 their ninth straight year of pro bono engagement. With our co-founders leading the way, employees understand the expectation and value of participating in pro bono, and we focus on recruiting the right people to continue this legacy.


Meet our Community Management Team

Samantha Ferry
Senior Advisor

Cara Hammerton
Advisor

Events

Proximity hosts and attends events that are linked to our Community Themes, whether it is a morning tea for NAIDOC Week, or attending Menslink’s Big Night Out each year.

We also host community organisations that require a boardroom or separate space for strategic meetings or fundraising events. If you are involved with a community organisation that is in need of a space, please reach out to us and we will accommodate you as best we can.


Fundraising

At Proximity, we support our Community Themes through dedicated fundraising activities. We seek to engage staff and the broader community in raising awareness and funds for community sector organisations and initiatives that align with our Community Themes.

Proximity undertakes two types of fundraising:

  1. Staff and community contributions only
  2. Staff contributions matched by Proximity

We utilise third-party fundraising sites, such as Give Now, to ensure our fundraising initiatives remain compliant with ACT fundraising legislation.

Reconciliation

Proximity is excited to commence our formal reconciliation journey with its first Reconciliation Action Plan – the Reflect RAP – developed in collaboration with Reconciliation Australia.

“We thank those staff who have worked to develop our first Reconciliation Action Plan. Its implementation over the next 12 months is a shared staff responsibility as we continue to further develop our understanding, learnings, and respect for First Nations people.”

While we are just beginning our reconciliation journey, we do so with a deep desire and commitment to build strong foundations and respectful, meaningful, and sustainable relationships with all First Nations peoples, and particularly with local Indigenous communities in the locations around Australia where we work.

We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first Australians and affirm their important and unique position in Australian life as the custodians of the land. We celebrate the contribution that First Nations people bring, and are capable of bringing to Proximity, our staff, and our community.

This Reconciliation Action Plan outlines the first steps Proximity will take to make systemic and sustainable contributions across our organisation to support reconciliation. We seek to better understand and build on our existing reconciliation activities, and identify how to better engage with First Nations people in our communities through our internal processes, our supply chain, service delivery, and overall impact on the communities we work in.

Reconciliation is a journey Proximity is committed to taking, just as we are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and cultural awareness across our organisation.

Community
awards

Finalist – Pro Bono Program of the Year, 2021, Australian Law Awards 


Finalist – Pro Bono Program of the Year, 2020, Australian Law Awards