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In a vibrant display of unity and pride, members of the NSW legal profession gathered for a special breakfast with a special presentation by Immediate Past President of the Canadian Bar Association, Steeves Bujold.

The rainbow-themed room and breakfast spread at the Law Society of NSW was the perfect setting for a celebration of the profession’s diverse and inclusive community.  
In his opening speech, President of the Law Society of NSW Brett McGrath, reflected on the achievements of the LGBTQIA+ community over the past 45 years and said that the Mardi Gras was born of protests – a demand for recognition, respect, and equality. 
I want to celebrate the fact that while we as a community have had much struggle, we have even more to applaud,” he said.  
There is a legacy of strength in our pursuit of change—for responsible legal reform, for considered, balanced advocacy before the law—and defending the rights of all in NSW—within the Law Society of New South Wales.” 
McGrath introduced Bujold, along with his many accolades, as someone who has spoken extensively about why diversity and inclusion are so close to his heart and until recently, was the national leader of his firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives for the 2SLGBTQI+ community. 
‘2SLGBTQI+’ is a Canadian acronym that representstwo-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and additional people who identify as part of sexual and gender diverse communities. As Bujold describes, Two-Spirits is a recent term to describe individuals who carry both male and female spirits.  
Bujold shared a brief history of 2SLGBTQI+ rights in Canada, through the lens of leadership, emphasising those who came before and who made a significant contribution towards equality and human rights. 
On his time as president of the Canadian Bar Association, Bujold said he struggled at first with whether he wanted to be open about his sexual orientation in the workplace with a fear of it defining him forever, but ultimately decided that he wanted to “make a difference” and to “leave something behind”.  
“It was really important to me to be the voice and go talk to students, to lawyers, to judges and use the microphone you’re giving me today. There were many microphones that were given to me. So, I wanted to make a good use of it,” he said. 
He advised advocates for the community to use these microphones wisely and “try to call on people to make changes and be agents of change.” 
“When it’s easy and you preach to the converted, it won’t change much. When it’s hard, it’s a cold audience and you’re like, ‘that was really hard’ – That’s when it makes a difference. 
“There is strength and unity in our community and I’m calling on each of you to continue to advocate for equality.”

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Steeves Bujold (right) at the Pride Breakfast, hosted by the Law Society of NSW

The breakfast followed the Pride Cocktail party last Thursday where lawyers of the LGBTQIA+ community gathered for an evening amongst a colourful retro nostalgia setting at Bar 83, offering guests sweeping views of our vast and beautiful harbour city and a moment to honour the strength and resilience of the community. 
McGrath said these events were a chance for lawyers in the LGBTQIA+ community to “celebrate who we are, how far we’ve come, and where we can and will go together.” 
“Personally, I love these celebrations because they toast two communities in which I have deep pride in belonging to, the LGBTQIA+ community and the legal profession.” 
The events recognise the legal profession’s growing diversity and its commitment to creating a more inclusive environment for all and serves as a testament to the ongoing efforts within the legal community to promote equality and celebrate the unique contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals.