There are many things young lawyers are told before starting their graduate year - get ready to work 60 hour weeks, never leave your desk, be a slave to the firm and that there is certainly no time for anything other than work. 

This could not be further from the truth when it comes to my time at Harwood Andrews. In the five months I have been a graduate with the Business law team, I have been invited to represent the firm at networking events and workshops as well as participate in the many internal social events we have at Harwood Andrews. Last week myself along with the two other graduate lawyers were given the opportunity to participate in the Karingal ‘Winter Workplace Big Day Out’ at the Geelong Basketball and Netball Centre. 

The Big Day Out provides an opportunity for business, volunteers and people with disabilities to come together who otherwise may never have the opportunity to cross paths. It is a fun filled day packed with activities that everyone can enjoy. 

I had heard great things about the Big Day Out from colleagues who have participated in the past so I was looking forward to attending. On arrival we were greeted by the Karingal staff who allocated us to our teams - we were part of the aptly named ‘Harwood Andrews Hamsters’. We were introduced to our team members who all varied in their ability to participate. Some were very boisterous and excited to take part and others were shy and preferred to sit out. We engaged in a range of different activities such as dodge ball, indoor soccer, dance and basketball which we all modified so that everyone could participate and have fun. However, my personal favourite was wheelchair basketball, which was actually very challenging but a lot of fun. 

Our attendance on the day would not have been possible without the support of Harwood Andrews, who enabled us to leave work for the day and encouraged us to participate. It is great to be part of an organisation that values its people and connecting with the community. The day we spent at the Big Day out is only one of many ways in which the firm encourages its people to participate in the community in which we live and work.

Stephen Kirby
Graduate Lawyer