Thomas Mathew of Unite Legal in Melbourne has been awarded the title of the Smokeball Community Hero 2021 in a nationwide competition organised by legal practice management software creator Smokeball to celebrate the way local law firms in Australia give back to their communities in acts both big and small.

“Every day, members of the legal industry go above and beyond to deliver services to their community”, said Jane Oxley, CRO, Smokeball. “Whether it is though pro bono work, volunteering in the community or sponsoring community events, we wanted to celebrate the inspiring and impactful work they are performing on behalf of their local communities. This work is often carried out ‘behind the scenes’ and we wanted to say thank you to these generous lawyers and legal staff for their time, resources and efforts”.

Thomas took the top award across the country for his significant contributions to many culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Melbourne. This includes working with University of Melbourne international students assaulted in an unprovoked COVID-related racist attack, speaking regularly at events on common legal issues with CALD communities including Sudanese and Malaysian, and his ongoing contribution to the African community which was also recognised at the African Afroshine Australia Awards.

The judges explained that Thomas was chosen because of his pro bono work and community work supporting the communities who often have the least power in our society – immigrants. “His work in supporting the Sudanese community and acting pro bono on behalf of Chinese international students is extremely commendable and helps Australia build a stronger, better society”, judges noted.

An additional 10 Community Heroes across the country received runners up awards. Find out more here: