Representatives from Corrs Chambers Westgarth today joined the likes of former Wallaby great, Phil Kearns, and the Governor-General, the Honourable Quentin Bryce, in a show of support for UNHCR’s critical international refugee and aid work.
Corrs’ partner Michael Chaaya hosted a corporate table at the Australia for UNHCR World Refugee Day breakfast in Sydney, where a team from Corrs were joined by business leaders and clients including AMP, Challenger, Morgan Stanley, Tria Investment Partners and REST Super.
Mr Chaaya said as one of Australia’s leading law firms, Corrs was serious about giving back to the community and strongly supported the involvement of its people in social and humanitarian work.
“This important annual event raised awareness of current initiatives and funds for UNHCR’s humanitarian projects throughout the world,” Michael Chaaya said.
The breakfast drew particular attention to the humanitarian crisis in Syria where more than 1.6 million people have fled the country as refugees – a number expected to double in the next 7 months. The UNHCR estimates that by the end of 2013, 10 million Syrians will require aid, and has consequently launched its biggest emergency appeal in history.
“With a population similar to Australia, the message that almost 1 in 2 Syrians will require aid over the next six months was particularly striking to our Australian audience,” Mr Chaaya said.
Another highlight was the personal story of former South Sudanese refugee, David Nyuol Vincent, author of the book ‘The Boy Who Wouldn’t Die’ and recognised among Victoria’s 100 most influential people in 2012.
“Included in David’s stories was an anecdote that, as a boy, he could recite U-N-H-C-R before he could recite the alphabet. It was an inspiring message that is a testament to the prevalence and significance of UNHCR’s work,” Mr Chaaya said.
Corrs continues to remain highly involved in aid initiatives, with Corrs partner and CEO John W.H. Denton chair of the board of Australia for UNHCR, a charity which raises funds to support UNHCR work.
Other Corrs attendees at the event were special counsel Michael do Rozario, senior associate Jennifer Cho, lawyer Tim Wong and Daniel Hobbs.
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