Chief Executive Officer, Australian Pro Bono Centre
Responsible business & corporate social purpose
Private sector social impact
Pro bono and skilled volunteering
Working with Social Purpose
Crises like the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the significance of the private sector in public life by starkly demonstrating our interconnectedness and shared humanity. This, more than any other period in recent history, is the time for the private sector to re-examine its role in society and take steps to secure a more equitable and sustainable future.
Corporate social investment takes many forms. Post-COVID, leading organizations will seize the opportunity to think radically about how they can use their resources and influence and leverage their networks and infrastructure to be essential actors in driving positive social change. They will empower their employees by providing a platform to use their unique skills, expertise, talents, and creativity for the betterment of society in new and imaginative ways. Gabriela speaks on how organizations can be part of this revolution by developing agile social impact programs that result in substantial benefits for communities, increased employee engagement, and a healthy bottom line.
Gabriela is a leader in the social justice sector, lawyer and speaker, with a career spanning Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. She is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Pro Bono Centre, Australia’s government-funded center of leadership for pro bono legal services. Gabriela practiced corporate finance law in Sydney, London, and Tokyo with top tier law firms and as in-house corporate counsel with a leading investment bank. Mid-career, she made a decision to dedicate her career to social justice and swapped life in the City of London to work in the field for UNHCR in Damascus.
She was then appointed Special Advisor to Head of Mission of Tony Blair’s Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem, helping to support Palestinian economic development and institution building. Gabriela now bridges the private and social justice sectors, dedicating her career to guiding private sector organizations on a similar journey to work with a social purpose. Gabriela holds a Master’s in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. She also has a keen interest in film and television production, has executive-produced a number of productions, and is a Voting Member of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA).
WHAT OTHERS SAY...
Gabi's engaging style blends intellectual rigour and diverse cross-sector experience. She blends the theoretical and the practical with great warmth and authenticity.
Brooke Massender, Partner, Global Head of Pro Bono
Herbert Smith Freehills
Gabriela is a highly strategic, innovative, and creative leader. She deeply understands the pro bono legal services sector in Australia and abroad and is a respected leader in the space. Her interpersonal skills are highly developed and what is equally impressive is her warmth and good humour.
Dan Creasey, Head of Pro Bono & Community Impact
King & Wood Mallesons
Gabi is an inspirational and highly effective cross-sector leader whose insights, deep experience and connections will no doubt help corporate Australia drive more impactful social programs. In particular, she has a compelling business case for us to step up our pro bono engagement and there is no more important time than now to invest in supporting our communities.
Sally McGeoch, Senior Advisor, Westpac Foundation