New Zealand Law Society - Russell McVeagh backing gay rugby team

Russell McVeagh backing gay rugby team

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The leading law firm has announced it has signed up to be a sponsor of the NZ Falcons RFC.

Russell McVeagh partner Cameron Law says it is a privilege for the firm to support the Auckland-based club.

"We hope that, in doing so, we also demonstrate our support for our own LGBTIQ team members. When I was starting out as a young lawyer it wasn't always easy to be open about being gay, and I hope the firm's commitment to the Rainbow Tick Programme and our support of the Falcons makes it clear to all of our team that they should feel free to bring their full selves to work, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity," he says.  

The Falcons’ website says the club started up in 2013 “to provide playing opportunities for both a new generation of players, and those veterans of the earlier [NZ gay] teams who wanted to play in an inclusive environment again.”

The team’s first tournament was the ‘gay world cup’, the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney, where it took out the Bowl tournament. The following year the Falcons won the Purchas Cup – the annual trans-Tasman tournament fought between the Falcons, and teams from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

“We’re delighted Russell McVeagh has joined the family of organisations supporting the NZ Falcons,” says NZ Falcons President Ben Payne. “The team is an important part of making sure rugby is inclusive and getting rid of homophobia in New Zealand sporting culture – and we are looking forward to working with Russell McVeagh to help deliver on that mission.”

In the past year Russell McVeagh has launched a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group to give staff a voice and an Inspirational Speakers programme which celebrates diversity of thought. A highlight of the 2017 programme was a series of events held for law students throughout New Zealand highlighting the importance of authentic leadership and presented by Dr Harold Hillman, a former officer in the US military when it was illegal to be openly homosexual.