Meet Amnesty International Australia’s 2019 General Meeting Voters!
Your democratically-elected General Meeting Voters will represent members’ voices at the Annual General Meeting in October.
Australian Capital Territory & Southern New South Wales
My name is Kathy and I’ve been with Amnesty for 10 years in September! I am nominating for co-President of the SNSW/ACT region for the next year. I have recently moved to Canberra after being on the NNSW/QLD ALC and am excited about the potential held in the capital! I would like to see the region strategically work with and create new partnerships, particularly those led by rights-holders, develop our lead activists so they’re skilled and confident in their work, support new thematic groups and leverage the passion for progressive change already alive and present in the region. One of my main focuses is on ensuring Amnesty is accessible to, and inclusive of everyone, where diversity is strong and representative of our mission.
My Amnesty story began as a child – my Uncle started a group at his university in the 80’s. After signing petitions and writing many letters as a child and teenager, I decided to further my activism at university and volunteer with Amnesty USA. Since then I haven’t looked back, I couldn’t imagine life without Amnesty. I’ve been volunteering in Australia for about 7 years and have held roles including university group convenor, community group convenor, university group coordinator and been active across all campaigns, with the refugee campaign being particularly close to my heart.
Milli is a human rights specialist who is passionate about supporting and empowering Amnesty activists.
Milli currently works as a diplomat and public policy professional, with a focus on international human rights. She previously worked as a lawyer for the Victorian Government, specialising in public, administrative and human rights law.
Milli has significant experience leading social justice advocacy projects. She was recently Chair of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Community Issues Committee, where she supported members of the legal profession to campaign on issues such as family violence, homelessness and euthanasia.
Milli has a long history of volunteering, particularly with newly-arrived asylum seekers. Her other experience includes working at the United Nations, and in the Washington DC office of US Congressman and civil rights trailblazer Alcee Hastings. Milli received the 2018 Gillian Beaumont Legal and WLA ACT Award for her professional and voluntary work.
Milli holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Monash University.
If elected to the ALC, Milli would be an approachable and energetic leader, committed to inspiring and supporting all Amnesty activists in the ACT and Southern NSW.
My name is Sally Choi and I am currently the Chair of the Youth Advisory Group (YAG). My passion for human rights stemmed as a young girl who fawned over history books, but my discovery of Amnesty happened in my first year of university when I came across an Amnesty campus stall on a rainy July. Through my university Amnesty Club I began organising speaker panels on Tibetan minorities, The Myanmar Student Protests, holding monthly Write for Rights at our local uni pub, and eventually working with other societies to hold a Symposium on the Death Penalty in the Asia-Pacific, and spearheading an academic panel on Marriage Equality which was attended by the likes of Ivan Hinton-Teoh, former deputy director of Australian Marriage Equality. My experience being the president of Amnesty ANU, volunteering at the ACT Office and presently working with other bright young activists in YAG have nurtured in me a particular interest in youth activism, and I hope to share our excitement, creativity and hunger to fight for human rights at this year’s Annual General Meeting.
I am an activist with Amnesty International and have worked extensively with civil society organizations operating within the domain of human rights in Cameroon. I served as a Protection Officer in the National Human Rights Commission in Cameroon. I also worked as a Program Coordinator for Peace, Conflict and International Relations in the Pan African Institute for Development West Africa, where I delivered lectures and trainings on Peace operations and human rights advocacy. I am the acting Secretary General for the Movement for Democracy, Development and Transparency (MDDT), a nongovernmental organization which focuses on human rights advocacy through legal empowerment. I have undertaken many human rights based initiatives such as monitoring violations and proposing recommendations for corrective action and remedies. As a 2019 Ambassador of the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), I am working on “The Protection of Civilians through human rights and humanitarian Advocacy”. In this light, I have taken enormous interest in refugee rights and the pursuit of a rights based approach to development and human security. I am currently involved in the “MyNewNeighbour” campaign under Amnesty International Australia and look forward to advocate for the protection of human rights in Australia and across the world.
I first became involved with Amnesty in 1980, and have been actively involved for most of the time since then. In my time, I’ve served on the Board of AI Australia, and have had several terms on the ACT/SNSW Branch Committee/Activism Leadership Committee. I’m currently Regional
President. I’ve been an advocate of grassroots activism for over a decade, and am working hard to make the new people power model of activism work effectively. I’d like AI Australia to be an organisation where anyone interested in human rights feels at home, and can pursue those issues that they’re
passionate about. I will push for us to continue to invest in building the capacity of our activist through training and through linking them with other like-minded activists. I have a strong interest in youth activism, and that’s an area where I’d like us to invest more as we increase our income.
I’m strongly committed to our groups, and especially our regional groups, and am looking for ways to make them stronger and their activism more effective. The aim, of course, is to make Amnesty stronger so that together we can achieve better human rights outcomes.
Johanna Larkin is a passionate activist and committed member of Amnesty International. She is a current ACT/SNSW Youth Advisory Group delegate and is dedicated to improving the participation and voice of youth within Amnesty International Australia. As a YAG delegate she has worked on the development of the National Youth Strategy. She is a student at the Australian National University studying a BA/LLB majoring in Pacific Studies and Human Rights. She has been an active member of Amnesty action groups since she was 16 years old. She was the convenor of the ANU Amnesty action group and successfully campaigned in the Community is Everything, She is Brave and My New Neighbour campaigns. Johanna successfully lobbied the ACT Legislative Assembly to pass a tri-partisan motion in support of the My New Neighbour campaign. She is passionate about refugee rights and currently works as a paralegal at a migration law firm, assisting refugees to settle in Australia. She has also volunteered as a paralegal at Canberra Community Law’s Street Law program, assisting people experiencing homelessness with their legal issues. She truly believes in the power of activism, the voices of youth and the capacity of community to make meaningful change in the world
I want to be a general meeting voter because of my interest in the future development of Amnesty International Australia.
I have an understanding of the governance processes for not-for-profit companies, having researched and designed a charity for a cultural institution in my professional capacity as a lawyer. It was these skills I brought to the position of general meeting voter in 2018 when I was involved in shaping the recent governance changes.
I have also have a good knowledge of Amnesty International Australia having been involved in a variety of ways since I was 14 and received the magazine in the post. I have interned in the South Australia/Northern Territory office, been a member of their former branch committee and have been a member of the Australian Capital Territory/Southern New South Wales activism and leadership committee for the last two years.
Continuing as a general meeting voter would allow me to continue to positively influence the future changes to Amnesty International Australia that will bring the new people powered model to life, as well as ensuring Amnesty continues to meet best practice for the charitable sector.
New South Wales
I am excited for the opportunity to nominate as a General Meeting Voter at the 2019 Amnesty International Australia AGM. I am a current board member, long term member of the NSW Branch Committee (now Activism Leadership Committee) and am excited to be
part of this year’s AGM.
I have extensive experience across National and (formerly) Branch governance that would enable me to continue to make significant and informed contributions to the AGM. I bring a strong understanding of organisational structure and a deep commitment to ensuring AI
Australia is an inclusive, member-led organisation. I also bring over ten years’ worth of activist experience in AI Australia to the meeting. My
extensive activist experience, across regional, national and international levels, gives me insight into the questions that will be before the AGM. I am dedicated to the ongoing viability and efficacy of campaigning structures and methods, ensuring that we are sustainable and that as an organisation we continue to focus on our key objective of shining a light on human rights abuses.
I strongly believe in transparency and that the work that occurs at an AGM is accessible and welcoming to all. I believe that my personal character, my ability to listen to and understand a variety of views, and patience would support the AGM in the work that it undertakes.
I took my first action for Amnesty International while in science class at high school. It was an urgent action for Aung San Suu Kyi – which shows how time has passed! I have been a passionate AIA activist including being a member of; my university group, the Stop Violence Against Women national network, and the NSW Branch Committee. I have worked on campaigns from refugee and asylum seeker rights through to ending electronic censorship and internet repression in China. I have had the pleasure and privilege of serving on the national board.
My grandparents were Jews from Eastern Europe and survivors of the holocaust. They were lucky enough to be granted asylum in Australia after being held in a displaced persons camp in Austria. There are people like my grandparents across the world now, being forced to flee their homes in
search of a better and safer life. I know that AI activists will be a force for good in making our world a safer for refugees and migrants.
Our time is now to grow our movement, make change, and fight back against the crack-down on human rights that is happening across the world right now.
Previous Experience with AI Australia:
– Group Convenor – Newcastle Group – 2006 – 2010
– Member of the NSW Branch Committee 2007 – 2018
– NSW Branch Secretary of the NSW Branch Committee – 6 years 2008-2014
– NSW Branch President – 4 years 2014 – 2018
– Member of the National Governance Committee of AI Australia – approximately 3 years.
– Convenor/Chair of the Branch Presidents’ forum – 4 years
I have also been involved in running consultations on a range of policies and processes with members and activists, including those in our regional groups over the past 11 years.
The qualities I feel I would bring to the AGM as a General Meeting Voter:
Over a decade of Amnesty experience, with wide and detailed understanding of
membership and activism of AI Australia, and processes within the movement; politeness, patience and good mediating skills; the ability to work well as part of a team, and to understand perspectives different to my own; insight into AI Australia’s ‘DNA’, and our strengths and weaknesses; a passion for upholding and strengthening grassroots activism, for achieving strong human rights outcomes; experience and understanding of the challenges of being an activist leader, including in a regional area.
Glyn became a member of Amnesty International in 1988. She joined Amnesty’s NSW Refugee Network in 2012 and was a co-convenor of the group for 3 years. Membership of the Amnesty NSW Book Club since its inception in 2013 feeds her passion for both reading and social justice.
Her professional work with environment groups over many years has given her wide experience and skills that apply rather well to the human rights arena. Glyn’s main work these days is freelance editor, which proved useful when she participated in steering groups for revising the AIA Constitution in 2018.
Glyn joined the Branch / Activism Leadership Committee in early 2016 and has been its Secretary since May 2017. She was a NAGM delegate in 2018 – a very interesting time for rethinking the governance of AIA. Glyn would like to continue her involvement with the changes happening and contribute to the transition to the new structures.
Belinda Neal presently works for the NGO sector with a focus on advocacy and public affairs. She studied International Law and has a strong interest in human rights. She was formerly the Federal Member for Robertson and a Labor Senator for NSW. During this period, she held various Shadow Ministries including Housing, Local Government, Consumer Affairs, Local Government and the Status of Women. She has also been a small businessperson and has worked in the Union movement. Belinda believes that it is incumbent on each of us to stand in opposition to oppression and to do our best to raise awareness of human rights abuses around the world. She has confidence that this view is shared by the membership of Amnesty International in Australia. Belinda believes the volunteers are the core of Amnesty and accordingly members should be encouraged and facilitated to participate in a meaningful way to the full extent Amnesty’s work and in the organisation’s decisions making.
Belinda seeks your support to enhance the activities of Amnesty though the inclusive and democratic participation of the members.
I believe continued good governance is key to the future success of AIA and would be grateful for the opportunity to play a part in that process as a general meeting voter.
I have been a member of AI for 18 years first as part of the NSW legal network then through London local groups. More recently I have served on the Governance Committee, the Rethinking Governance Working Group and am currently assisting with Rethinking Governance implementation on the Activism & Membership Committee.
I would like to spend more time with my fabulous local group in Manly but at the moment my contribution is limited to holding the clipboard as my six year old encourages petitioners at the local market. Favourite campaigns if I had to choose…Afghan Women, more recently Indigenous Youth Justice and always Write for Rights.
Kevin Sweeney is currently the Convenor of the Newcastle Action Group and has been a financial supporter of Amnesty International for more than 30 years. He is a firm believer in the importance of defending human rights as a means of creating a more just society. He is particularly passionate about: bringing an end to the Australian Government’s blatant disregard for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers; ending offshore and indefinite immigration detention; and ending the inappropriate and counterproductive incarceration of children in our justice system.
Kevin is a medical practitioner and has worked in senior management in health service delivery and medical education. His qualifications are MBBS, DA(UK), DipRACOG, FRACGP and FAICD. He has a sound understanding of strategic planning, policy development, corporate finances and the effective operational implementation of policies and programs.
Kevin is looking to make a broader contribution to the strategic direction of Amnesty International Australia and bring the perspective of activists to strategic and policy decisions.
Queensland & Northern New South Wales
I have been an Amnesty activist since 2015. As a queer woman I have a deep passion for LGBTQI+ rights, and also feel a strong connection to the refugee and Indigenous rights campaigns. My vision for our region is to make Amnesty more accessible so that everyone feels welcome and that they can make a meaningful contribution to the movement. If elected, I will continue to bring enthusiasm and passion to grow our human rights movement, create deeper connections in our region, and make sure that activists’ voices are heard. In my time with Amnesty I have been in many lead roles within groups and the Qld/NNSW region, including supporting groups, rebuilding the schools network, advocating MPs, facilitating activist workshops, event planning, developing key relationships and networks, and convening groups. My proudest activist moment last year was representing Amnesty at the Qld Health Discussion on LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy to advocate for the recommendations made by survivors of this harmful treatment and ideology. This year I facilitated a schools conference on the Sunshine Coast where I was inspired by our dedicated, passionate youth activists, and facilitated activism training for Pride in Sport. I have completed the Amnesty leadership training and an LGBTQI leadership academy.
I’ve always strongly believed in equality and the importance of defending the rights of all humans, in particular refugees and people seeking asylum. I decided a few years ago that it was time to find a way to contribute and take action to defend human rights. I started attending local Amnesty meetings and have since become increasingly involved. Activism takes many forms and being a part of Amnesty has introduced me to other like-minded people and enabled me to grow and learn how to make positive change in my way. I have been the co-convenor of my local Brisbane City Group for the last 3 years which has been a great learning experience and introduced me to brilliant activists in Amnesty and the other organisations we work alongside. I joined what was the Branch Committee 2 years ago as Treasurer and I am nominating to stay on as a member of the Activism Leadership Committee, hopefully continuing to work with existing and new committee members and supporting and contributing to local human rights activism. I am also nominating as a General Meeting Voter to represent and vote on behalf of all Amnesty members in the QLD/NNSW region.
I have been involved with Amnesty International since 2014. I have been a part of Amnesty USC and Amnesty Sunshine Coast and was the convenor of the latter for 2 years. I have helped plan and coordinate campaigns for both these groups. This experience has allowed me to understand the crucial role the Activism Leadership Committee can have in providing support and development for activists. I am incredibly passionate about promoting human rights and Amnesty’s work, and I believe that activists are the core of Amnesty’s campaigns. My experience volunteering with Amnesty has allowed me to gain a strong understanding of their campaigns and how activists on the ground help run them to promote human rights. I would love the opportunity to use this to positively contribute to the committee’s vision, campaign priorities and policies. I hope to help form part of an Activism Leadership Committee that promotes a positive culture and environment for all staff, activists and volunteers. I would also like to utilise the knowledge and skills I have obtained from my time volunteering with Amnesty to share my passion and help mentor and support other activists.
My name is Ruth Gould, Co-Convenor since 2018 of the long-running Amnesty Chermside group in northern Brisbane and activist since 2015, helping organise successful stalls for Community is Everything, BRAVE and Write4Rights. My favourite stall was Zillmere Festival 2018 to raise the age of criminality where our kite-making craft activity attracted local families, some directly impacted by our campaign.
I am passionate about equality and freedom for all people and to this end, participated in Amnesty activities like the regional AGM 2018, Social Change Lab 2017 and campaign hook-ups. I also attend community rallies for refugees. I have drafted letters to MPs for our group, receiving comprehensive responses. I met my state MP (Ferny Grove) twice about the human rights act for Queensland.
For 11 years I have worked in the Tenders and Grants team for non-profit WISE Employment, mission ‘Empowerment through Employment.’ I studied a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Social Science (International Development).
I have an excellent understanding of Amnesty campaigns and activist interests and I support collaboration in our movement. As a General Meeting Voter at the 2019 national AGM, I would aim to represent diverse QLD/NNSW activists and bring back ideas and knowledge to share.
Peter has been a member of Amnesty International Australia since 1993 and soon after that became convenor of the Townsville AI Action Group – a role he has held off and on ever since. He joined the Queensland NNSW Branch Committee in 2004 and was Queensland NNSW Branch President from 2005-2008. Peter was awarded the June Fassina Award for his extensive contribution to the defence of human rights at the National Annual General Meeting in 2009.
Peter was again elected to the role of Queensland NNSW Branch President at the 2018 Branch Annual General Meeting. With the governance changes earlier this year he is currently Regional President. Peter’s passion is supporting and empowering local activists and this is why he is re-applying for a position on the Activism Leadership Committee.
Peter retired in 2014 after more than 20 years working as a Learning Adviser at James Cook University. He loves retirement as it allows him to spend more time working as a community activist. Outside Peter’s work with Amnesty, he is currently President of the North Queensland Conservation Council and a member of the Multi Faith Chaplaincy Committee at James Cook University. He loves walking, cycling, sea kayaking, and singing.
I have been an active member of the Townsville Amnesty International group for the past nine years.
Over this time, I have attended letter writing meetings, planning meetings, vigils and have assisted with organising local human rights events.
I am involved in the communications and social media for the group and helped to establish the local Townsville Amnesty International Facebook Page which now has over 1,000 followers.
The Townsville Amnesty group held our first Annual Human Rights Lecture in 2013 when more than 200 people came to listen to Julian Burnside. Subsequent years saw Clair Mallinson in 2014, Munjed Muderis in 2015, Kon Karapanagiotidis in 2016, and Linda Burney in 2017. More than 200 people attended each event.
I have also been involved in organising the Townsville Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees for the previous three years.
I would welcome the opportunity to participate in setting the strategic direction of AIA work for greater human rights impact as a General Meeting Voter.
Hello Amnesty friends, I am Pearl Tabart from Queensland/NNSW Region. Currently it is my last month as Vice-President of the very last Branch Committee.
One of the things I value most in life is freedom and social justice for all human beings. I feel so privileged to live in a society that has a robust democracy and citizens have freedom of speech and avenues to address injustice to themselves or others more vulnerable. Since I have joined Amnesty in 2008 at a local group level, I have met many likeminded people and formed some great friendships. We have shared the struggles of campaigning for prisoners of conscience that take years to be released but jump for joy when they finally do. We persevered for years advocating for a Human Rights Act in Queensland and finally, the Act will come into effect in 2020.
A brief bio of my involvement since 2008. 6 years with the Chermside Group, Brisbane. Three of those years as Group Convenor. Into my 4th year as member of the Branch Committee, completed leadership training in 2018 and organised a schools conference in Brisbane for 60 students from 6 schools. National Delegate in the Reforming Governance process in 2017/18.
In my long involvement with AIA, starting as a Uni student back in the 1990s, I been an activist, a group convener, a Branch Committee member in two regions, a branch president and Board subcommittee member and Working Party Convener. I’ve even been to NAGMs in 2 centuries. I also have a degree in Engineering and I’m currently studying for a Masters of Information Technology. I believe my years in the many roles I have held give me a strong understanding of what our Activists and members expect from AIA.
Madelaine Wood (reserve)
I have been with Amnesty International for five years+ in various roles including, QLD NNSW Branch Committee, Amnesty Gold Coast Group Convener and Regional Representative for the CIE campaign since it launched four years ago. I and currently a member of the ALC and I plan to continue and re-nominate for the ALC again this year.
My knowledge of Amnesty has evolved over the years and I have enjoyed both learning from all of Amnesty knowledgeable staff and volunteers, and contributing my voice and skills to the organisation. Through my role on the branch and as a convener I have been able to be a direct line between the Branch/ALC and volunteers which has aided me in feeding the information, knowledge and thoughts of the ALC to GC Group and vices versa, ensuring the voices of both sides are freely and safely expressed and understood.
I found my participation in the last and final NAGM to be a highlight of my years of volunteering both for the comradery and the wealth of knowledge that was shared over the course of the meeting. I learnt a considerable about Amnesty governance and internal operations and would like the opportunity to be involved again this year.
I am an active member of the Townsville Amnesty International group and have been involved in human rights activism for the last 30 years. My involvement in Amnesty is based on a passionate belief in creating a world where human rights are upheld. I work as a teacher and artist and believe in campaigning by being organised, creative and inclusive.
The main campaigns that I have been involved in recently are releasing prisoners of conscience, supporting rights for asylum seekers and the Community is Everything campaign.
I have worked with the Townsville Amnesty group by being involved in planning campaigns and actions. We are working towards releasing prisoners of conscience as part of a team organising the letter writing meetings on a monthly basis. Also, we work as a group supporting rights for asylum seekers through marches, meeting MPs, letter writing, creating banners and petitioning. I have been on the planning group for the CIE campaign on a local basis we’ve organised press releases and met MPs, organised speakers, chatted to people about ideas on stalls and in the street.
I believe in standing up for human rights so they can be ‘enjoyed by all people, no matter who they are or where they live.’
South Australia / Northern Territory
My name is Sarah Burrage and I have been a member of Amnesty International Australia (AIA) since 2015. Since late 2015 I have sat on the SA/NT Branch Committee in the position of Secretary and Co-Vice President. During this time, I have also had the privilege of being a Community Organising Volunteer, a Group Organiser, a member of the BRAVE advisory committee and Write 4 Rights campaign, a NAGM delegate, as well as an Australian Delegate for the 2017 International Council Meeting as part of the International Issues Committee (IIC). I have been re-nominated for another 2-year term within the IIC and hope to continue in my leadership role with AIA as member of the Activism Leadership Committee (ALC) for SA/NT. I am currently studying my PhD full-time within the University of South Australia, which focuses on refugee settlement in regional areas. I remain deeply committed to the work being done by AIA and hope to continue in my leadership role as a general member of the ALC.
Hello! I’m Anita, I’m 20 and I’m a passionate humanitarian and developing professional eager to stand up for and protect human rights. In 2018, I was selected to represent World Vision Australia at an International Youth For Change Conference, and I am studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of International Relations at the University of Adelaide. Within Amnesty International Australia, I started my volunteering through the Urgent Actions network, sending out letters and emails about human rights defenders who were being prosecuted. Following this, I have participated in a number of petition collecting events, International Women’s Day marches, and have helped with events for the University of Adelaide Amnesty Group. Beyond that, recently I have joined the National Youth Advisory Group, and have started working on plans for the post 2020 strategy for engagement with young people in AIA.
Whilst I have only been involved with Amnesty for about 12 months, I am eager to continue developing and bringing some real change for the better in the SA/NT region, particularly on engaging young people around human rights.
Specialties: Volunteer engagement, advocacy, international relations, grassroots work, communications, humanitarianism, youth engagement, campaign direction, campaign development, campaign delivery and execution, and interpersonal skills.
Vee is one of the co-founders of the Adelaide Amnesty International LGBTQI Network and has previous experience convening the Adelaide Artillery Network and the Flinders University Amnesty International Activist Group. Vee is passionate about equality, freedom of expression and creative activism.
Being part of Amnesty helps me create a fairer and better world. I have been a member of the South Australia and Northern Territory Activism Leadership Committee/Branch Committee for the past four years as secretary and president. In my time volunteering with Amnesty I have been blown away by the level of dedication and expertise of both staff and volunteers. We can always improve the way we work together to defend human rights and
help the many people globally and in Australia who are not treated fairly. I hope to use my role on the Activism Leadership Committee to bring staff and volunteers together to make the best use of skills and experience to create campaigns, continue the amazing actions we currently do, develop new ways to reach more people to get them to take action and to grow our partnerships for greater human rights impact.
I have been involved in AIA for about 30 years; at many levels; from being a group member and convenor, an activist, a specialist themed group member – eg Death Penalty group, a Branch Committee member and President and as a non-Executive Director on the AIA Board. My first role in the organisation, and the one that I am most passionate about, is as an activist. I am nominating for the AGM as a General Voting Member because of this passion.
The up-coming AGM is the first under the new governance structure in the AIA, one which a strong activist lead model is key to its success. In South Australia / Northern Territory Branch building the activist base, with my co-activist colleagues, and having the vision and support to do this will be a major theme of the AGM and setting the agenda for the future of AIA nationally and regionally. I am nominating as a General Voting Member, to work and ensure that the SANT Region and AIA will be well represented for the next phase of activism in Amnesty International Australia.
I am Ainoa Cabada Rey from Adelaide. I have been a part of the ALC at SA/NT for the last 2.5 years. I have been the lead activist for the Community is Everything campaign in both regions since I joined Amnesty International Australia in May 2016. During this time, I’ve been actively involved in stunts, demonstrations, community meetings and lobbying politicians including, Christopher Pyne. I have organised and attended interstate events in Alice Springs with the Indigenous community and other organisations to condemn the overrepresentation of indigenous children in detention.
I am currently working in the Aboriginal Unit at the University of Adelaide. I have 3 years of professional experience working with NGOs coordinating projects on racism, human rights and Indigenous rights.
My journey with Amnesty International began during my student days at the University of Adelaide. I joined the action group on campus as a general member, before becoming the group’s Communications Officer, and later convenor. Wishing to continue my involvement with Amnesty after completing my undergraduate study (Law and Media), I joined the then Branch Committee in the SA/NT region, where I’ve now been for just over two years. Highlights have included organising stalls at local festivals, petition blitzes, attending an Activist Leadership Weekend in Sydney, and letter writing.
Outside of Amnesty, I work in media and communications. I love it all: news writing, broadcasting, social media, copywriting… you name it. In my downtime, I enjoy travelling, music and photography.
I have been a member of Amnesty International Australia (‘AIA’) since 2017. In that time, I have attended two Annual General Meetings (previously known as ‘NAGMs’) as a Delegate from Tasmania.
In my time as a member of the Tasmanian Activism Leadership Committee (previously known as ‘the Tasmanian Branch Committee’), which I joined in 2017, I have held the positions of Tasmania Branch President, Tasmania Branch Vice-President, and Tasmania Branch Treasurer. I currently hold the position of Deputy President for the Tasmania Region.
AIA is experiencing many disruptions to its vital human rights work, and it is therefore vital that Tasmania elects General Meeting Voters who have the requisite level of corporate knowledge. It is also important that General Meeting Voters are objective and realistic, particularly when assessing the impact of proposed resolutions.
With my background in law, justice and policy, in addition to my keen interest in corporate insolvency, I believe I possess the necessary skills and attributes which would make me an effective General Meeting Voter for the region. I have a demonstrated capacity to work collaboratively and effectively to further our region’s interests. Thank you for your consideration!
I have been a member of Amnesty International since May 2014 and a financial supper and human rights defender since 2008.
I currently sit as a director on the Board of AIA and my 4 year term of office will expire at the AGM this year.
I am experienced with Amnesty’s internal workings and the contemporary challenges that it faces. With this I can make decisions with a background of knowledge suitable to understand the issues being brought to the floor.
My particular interests are Corporate Governance and adventure fundraising/activism; I claimed Kilimanjaro in 2013 and did the Point to Pinnacle in 2014 both to raise funds and awareness for AIA, gender equality and international human rights.
Roc committed to the revitalisation of the Amnesty International Launceston Action group in 2015/16, as well as volunteering for local refugee, climate action, global poverty and human rights action campaigns. Film nights, stalls, meetings, speaker events, peace picnic, Amnesty tea event and networking with refugees and support groups are a few actions she has been responsible for conducting on behalf of Amnesty.
Roc believes Australia, and Tasmania, should have a human rights charter to underpin Asylum seeker policy and Aboriginal rights. Her passion for positive action on asylum seekers, global poverty, human rights and the climate crisis led her to volunteering with Amnesty International. Australia’s has a poor track record in addressing these issues and she believes Amnesty is a vehicle for positive action.
Since retirement as a teacher Roc has been an active community volunteer. A weekly volunteer for council for 9 years at the Visitors Interpretation Centre at The Cataract Gorge included convening monthly public Walk and Talk events, running school learning programs and informing international and national visitors. Regular cultural and history events have included hosting Aboriginal elder Dr. Patsy Cameron AO, regularly for Aboriginal cultural walks on country. Roc is passionate about the importance of reconciliation with the first people and how important this is for Australia to move towards a fair and just society.
I am a long term Amnesty member, first joining in 1984.
I have held various roles in Tasmania, as a group member, group convenor and various positions on the Tasmanian Branch Committee. I also served ten years as a Amnesty Board member where I was Treasurer and Secretary.
I am firmly committed to the idea of Amnesty empowering individuals to play a role in promotion and protection of human rights.
I am a retired agricultural scientist and administrator.
Madeline Wells is a young trawlwoolway, Madi Madi, Wadi Wadi, Wemba Wemba woman from the North-West Coast of Tasmania. She currently works for The Smith Madeline also volunteers with Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network and Amnesty International Australia. In 2016 she represented Amnesty International Australia at the United Nations in Geneva attending a Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. The theme for the forum in 2016 was “Widening the Democratic Space: the role of youth in public decision-making”.
Last month she attended the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver, which is the world’s largest conference on Gender Equality. Madeline was selected as 1 of 300 Women Deliver Young Leaders out of 3,000 applications. This year’s young leaders were the largest and most diverse cohort to join the award-winning program: the group hails from 121 countries and collectively speaks 98 languages. The Young Leaders also represent groups too often marginalized, including 66 people affected by humanitarian emergencies, 29 self-identified indigenous persons and — for the first time — 18 adolescents.
Madeline will continue to advocate and defend human rights, First Nations rights, and Climate Justice. She also is working on a film project after receiving the Tasmanian Aboriginal Arts Mentorship Grant, with filmmaker Rebecca Thomson as her mentor.
I am a passionate and highly engaged human rights defender. During the day, I am an employee of Victoria Legal Aid and by night, I am Victoria’s Regional Treasurer of Amnesty International Australia (“AIA”). My past activism experience at AIA includes being the Community Organiser and Social Media intern, convenor of the Get Active Network, mentor of the Women’s Rights Defender’s Network, a voting delegate on numerous occasions at AIA National Annual General Meeting and a member of the refugee Network, Focus Leadership Group and Victoria Branch Committee. Other social justice organisations I have been involved with includes the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Darebin Community Legal Centre, Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition, and the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival.
With over 5 years’ experience as an Amnesty activist and engagement with other social justice organisations, I would like to continue to be a part of Amnesty International global movement in defending human rights and building a stronger and fairer community.
Suzan has been part of Amnesty International for over almost 15 years having become involved as a High School student and went on to convene her University Group. She joined the Victorian Activism and Leadership Committee (aka: Branch Committee) in 2013, was elected as Secretary in 2014 and in 2017 became the Vice-president. She has been an AGM Observer/Delegate for four years and worked with her fellow branch members to host Amnesty International Australia’s first combined Human Rights Conference and AGM in 2014 at Victorian Parliament House.
Suzan works as a lawyer in the social justice space and is passionate about access to justice. She’s a contributor to the Fitzroy Legal Service Law Handbook and also works as a legal trainer, educating lawyers about how gambling related harm can affect clients in everyday practice.
In her spare time she enjoys boxing, collecting vintage clothes and her beautiful dog Snowy.
I am at present National Secretary of AI Australia. I have attended almost all AGMs since 1982. Since 1983 I have continuously held positions on the Victorian, National and International Executive Committees, as well as holding many other roles nationally and internationally.
It is important that those such as myself who have been primarily responsible for the new governance model, and for the transition to it, are able to participate fully in the work of our general meetings in their new configuration.
I am deeply familiar with Amnesty International—how it works, what it stands for, its values and ethos, and how it reconciles its competing aspirations and goals, and I hope to continue to ensure that all these elements are recognized and brought together as we shape our future as a movement here and internationally.
My professional qualifications are in public law, organization dynamics, ethics and education.
Margherita Mezzasoma currently holds the position of Regional Refugee Campaign Leader for Amnesty in Victoria. She works to build community support and the spirit of welcome for refugees in her region. She engages with different Amnesty action groups and community members, such as community organisations, sporting clubs and finally councils to get the My New Neighbour campaign into the community. She has been involved with Amnesty on the field of refugee rights since 2016.
Moved from Italy three years ago, she is currently studying at Melbourne University. Her thesis revolves around the study of indigenous social movements and their relation to the state in Latin American countries. She speaks Spanish and English and is passionate about sharing her Italian culture and supporting activities revolving around this. She completed a course at SciencesPo university in Paris on human rights and global development. She loves to travel and spend time in nature. She enjoys cooking and sharing food with friends.
Bala has been an active financial member of AIA for close onto twenty years. For much of this time he was also a Human Rights Defender – which he discontinued in Dec 2018 after retiring from fulltime employment. Bala served a few terms on the Victorian Branch Committee. As a VBC member, he attended and participated in NAGMs as a full voting delegate. Here he gained first-hand experience not only of the dynamics and challenges played out at this vital annual form, but also had insight into complexities of governance, management and activism.
As a member, Bala has participated in the activities of the South East (Melbourne) Local Amnesty Group, in particular in urgent actions (letter writing and petitions), in the annual Amnesty Candle Day observance, in fund-raising events, and in mounting human rights displays in venues such as local libraries. An Amnesty table at his 80th birthday function last October raised over a thousand dollars.
He has attended many a lively Branch AGM and joint annual forums in Melbourne of Amnesty Local Groups.
In 2007, Bala received the Claire Wositzky Award for ‘extensive contribution to the defence of human rights.’
Bala was born and grew up in South Africa, migrating to Australia in 1988. He was an activist in the anti-Apartheid struggle. The current secretary general of Amnesty International, Kumi Naido, is known personally to Bala, both as a former work colleague in South Africa and as a fellow activist way back in the 1970s.
Hello, I am Anita and I am in my second year of volunteering. I started as an office volunteer when it began within the Events portfolio and was responsible for processing events requests for all the networks and campaigns within Australia and for creating a process coordinate this internally. Through out this time, however, I have been given the opportunity to shape this role further. By assisting in communications and promotions for events and working with the organising team and networks to implement and coordinate. Personally, this experience has led me to also assist the Refugee Network by liaising with councils, speakers and immigration centres to plan and set out a chain of events to share personal stories for the My New Neighbour campaign; and to workshop ideas for fundraising, attend advocacy workshops for inclusion in sport and help plan the Pride Game.
Amnesty has given me the opportunity to work in an organisation, not just for my degree of Global Studies and Law, but also to understand and impact the informing and the shaping of human rights policy internationally. As an organisation it has afforded me a genuine opportunity to work in human rights in a tangible way.
Diana Nesic (reserve)
Hello! My name is Diana Nesic (Member Number: 8-10066587) and I have been volunteering with Amnesty International Victoria since 2015, where I helped build the foundation of the Amnesty Pop Culture Network. Since then, I have become a co-convener of this vibrant and enthusiastic group, and have played an active role in ensuring our small team accumulates as many actions for Amnesty human rights issues as possible (at our most recent event, Oz Comic-Con 2019, we collected over 1,000 petition signatures over the weekend!).
Like all of you, I am extremely passionate about human rights and ensuring equality for all, and absolutely adore Amnesty’s mission and goals, and admire the assortment of passionate volunteers and members this NGO has amassed. I would love to be able to represent our collective voices at the upcoming Annual General Meeting this year, and know I would be able to represent the Victorian region proudly and correctly, and vote for the issues, board members and other key positions that us Victorians would love to see. Thank you so much for the opportunity!
My name is Katrina North and I am nominating to be a Victorian delegate at the Amnesty International Australia AGM, 2019. I have been an activist with Amnesty International for nearly two decades in Australia and when I lived in the UK. I have been a Victorian Delegate for several National AGMs. I have been on the Victorian Activist Leadership Committee (former Branch Committee) for over seven years and I am now the Victorian Regional President.
I am also a member of my local AI North East Metro Group of which I am the current Convenor. I feel I have experience and insight into what our grassroots membership want and need for their human rights activism. As delegates we need to bring that insight to the AGM forum.
In the past I have worked with people seeking asylum and Refugees here in Australia and in the UK. For the past few years I have been working in the class room at a school for children with disabilities.
The AGM in October is a great chance for AIA member’s to get together, share their experiences, meet new people, learn new skills and be energised in our human rights work.
Susanna is a highly engaged member and activist leader here at AIA. She has been appointed Joint Chair of AIA’s new Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing Steering Group after 4 years as Victoria’s Regional Representative on AIA’s Board. She was Victorian Branch President (2013-2015) and has been a member of the Victorian Branch Committee/Activism Leadership Committee and the Footscray/Williamstown Action Group since about 2012. She has previous experience as a General Meeting Voter (2013-2014).
During her time as Branch President and then as a Board Member, Susanna helped drive and design AIA’s new membership growth strategy and AIA’s recent governance reform. She was an early member of the Board’s Activism and Membership Sub-Committee and helped establish its role within our organisation.
Susanna is unwavering in her passion for developing positive relationships and improving communications across Amnesty, and throughout the broader human rights movement. She strives for transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and continuous improvement in all that she does, including at Amnesty. Susanna has over a decade of advisory experience in both private practice and government. Now, in addition to being employed as a senior leader in the public service, Susanna runs a workplace relations consultancy and law firm with her husband.
I am Finlay Spalding and I am currently the LGBTIQ convener for Victoria. I also going to start researching for the fundraising arm of Amnesty – which I am excited for too!
Being LGBTIQ convener, it is important to underscore that in this post-marriage equality Australia, we still do not live in a society which respects and values Queer people in the same way as our cis- heterosexual counterparts. Queer people cannot afford to go back into the shadows of society.
Human rights are vital for me to understand, especially as a Queer person, it allows me to recognise my privilege living in the West while also acknowledging those around the world who do not experience the same security and protection as myself. It is a privilege to volunteer for an organisation that prides itself on defending human rights at all costs.
Currently, I am studying for my Bachelor of Arts at Deakin University majoring in International Relations and Middle Eastern studies.
My name is Thu Tang. I hold an Industrial Engineering degree and PMI and ITIL Foundations certifications. My work entails assisting clients in optimising processes, systems and organisation design. My core competencies are project management, relationship management and change management.
I strongly believe in human rights for all regardless of sex, nationality, social status, sexual orientation and age. I believe in spot lighting those who abuse those rights and to speak out for those who can’t and take action to bring about change.
The one main activism area I’m most passionate about is women’s rights. For the past year I’ve been an active member and Convenor of the Women’s Rights Defenders network within Amnesty International Victoria branch. As a team, the WRD network have grown and achieve many amazing milestones.
With the experience and foundation of the WRD network, I would like to add my voice and be counted in voting exercises of new resolutions and election of board members. Actions that will result in lasting impacts in Amnesty International’s fight for human rights for all. Thank you for your considerations.
I have been passionate about Human Rights and Equality for most of my life. In 2015 I joined the Monash Caulfield Amnesty International group. I helped plan several successful including a movie night, panel and Candlelight vigil. In 2016 I became the secretary of the Amnesty Monash Caulfield. In 2017 I joined the Amnesty Pop Culture and I became a co-convener is 2018. As part of the Pop Culture event, I helped plan several successful events. In our most recent event we collected over 1000 signatures. I also attended several events for the Victoria LGBTIQ+ event, such as volunteering at the MidSumnma. This year I also became one of the co-convenors of the Victoria LGBTIQ+ Group.
I became an active member of Amnesty in mid-2018 after my retirement from legal practice as a sole practitioner for 25 years. Initially I joined the Individuals At Risk Network Group before being invited to fill the vacant position of Secretary for the then VBC I have found the role of Secretary both stimulating and challenging.
My main interests within Amnesty are Human Rights and Indigenous Affairs. Presently I am a participant on the ALC Working Group for Regional planning, grassroots reporting & 2020 vision goals.
I was fortunate to attend the 2018 NAGM and EGM and observe the introduction of Amnesty’s new Rethinking Governance and Constitutional reforms and am now a part of the implementation of those reforms and the transition to a People Powered model. Other interests include marine and environmental conservation.
While I have supported Amnesty for 25 years, I became more actively involved in 2015. During this time, I have held the position of Convener of the Bayside Action Group, and participated as a member of the Victorian leadership group.
The Bayside Action Group has held a range of speaking events for Amnesty International’s Community is Everything and Refugee Campaigns, the most notable having 140 people attend. We have also organised Write for Rights events and participated in local Community Fairs. Late last year, we successfully worked with the Refugee Network and My New Neighbour Campaign Manager to on-board our two local councils, Bayside and Kingston, to the My New Neighbour campaign.
Last year, I attended an Amnesty International leadership conference in Sydney, and subsequently worked on a project to help streamline activism in our state. I also had the privilege of attending Amnesty International’s AGM as an Observer and gained an understanding of how the voting process works.
I have worked with leadership teams (state-based and national), networks and local groups during my time at Amnesty. I am therefore excited to be nominated to participate as a Delegate in 2019.
I have been a member of Amnesty International for over 20 years, a member of the AIA Governance Committee (a Board Committee) since 2016 and most recently, Chair of that Committee.
Having worked closely on the Rethinking Governance project, I am acutely aware that this is a pivotal time in AIA’s history and see it as vitally important that the right people (in terms of skills and diversity) are elected to the Board to ensure that AIA consolidates its position and continues to differentiate itself as more and more charities compete for funds within an increasingly regulated sector. The strategy should be looked at through a short, medium and long term lens and always against our mission and values to ensure that goals are met. It is important that our structure works powerfully to make a lasting difference for human rights, both in Australia and globally. I would welcome the opportunity to make a contribution to this by voting at General Meetings.
I am a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience and have held senior governance and company secretary roles in the financial services and not-for-profit sectors. I currently consult as a governance specialist to a range of organisations.
Hi everyone, my name is Leonie Alexander, and I have served as President of the WA Branch/Region since 2016, a role that I find both motivating and inspiring. My vision for the WA Region is to continue to grow a strong, courageous human rights community that is inspired to take action and has real impact.
Working with our activists, partner organisations and diverse communities in my role as President has deepened my passion for grassroots activism. I am passionate about freedoms and rights that we take for granted, and this drives me to take action for the freedom, dignity, equality and justice of all people, wherever they are.
Human rights and social justice have always been a core part of my life, and joining and leading my local action group, the Mount Lawley Group, was the beginning of a positive new chapter in my life. I found myself surrounded by people I admired and respected, and remain inspired by the knowledge, passion and long-term commitment and service of its members to human rights.
Most of my professional experience has been as a classical musician and in education, as a teacher and educational leader. My current role as a union organiser encompasses empowering and educating education sector professionals on their industrial rights; negotiation and bargaining, campaigning, and industrial advocacy.
Hi everyone, I’m Claire. I first got involved with Amnesty over 6 years ago, when I went along to my very first WA Refugee Rights Group meeting. Since that time, I have been involved as the Co-Convener of the WA Refugee Rights Group, a member of WA Branch Committee, and am now the Campaign Organiser for the My New Neighbour campaign in WA. Some of my favourite Amnesty experiences so far have been planning a movie night to raise awareness of the unique struggle of LGBTQI+ refugees, and experiencing wins for the My New Neighbour campaign through gaining local councils support. I’m very passionate about making Australia a more welcoming place for refugees, and strive to uphold the rights of the most vulnerable both in Australia and abroad. I really look forward to meeting and connecting with other amazing Amnesty activists!
Age 61. Business proprietor. From UK. Migrated in 1980. Separated with 2 children, and 2 grandchildren.
Graduate of University of Sussex BA (Hons) in Social Sciences.
Established Advantage Communications & Marketing Pty Ltd in 1989. Primarily involved in marketing, customer communications and market research.
Actively involved in sports such as tennis and running, and supporter of charities such as World Vision Child sponsorship and Fred Hollows foundation.
Long term supporter and event attendee of, and letter writer for, Amnesty International. Member of Mt. Lawley group for around five years. Major concern is the willingness of governments around the world to breach basic human rights to further their own self-interest, and perpetuate their oppressive regimes against the wishes and interests of the people. Areas of interest include death penalty, freedom of expression, torture, oppression of minorities.
Hi everyone! I’m Euan Gleeson-Brown, and I’m a second year uni student over at UWA. Amnesty has been a passion of mine for the past 2 years, and I’m loving my role now as the President of the UWA branch as it’s been an amazing opportunity to learn more & engage with tangible human rights issues across the world and to meet some amazing people! Amnesty has opened my eyes to issues that I’ve become passionate about ever since I first heard the story of a refugee man trying to enter Australia, and the issues & conditions he had to face. It’s ignited my passion towards making a difference in countries like Myanmar & Sudan, as well as refugee & indigenous rights. With your vote, I will stand as a general meeting voter at our next AGM on these issues and Amnesty’s core values to help steer us towards our vision of basic human rights across the world. Cheers!
Richa has been involved with Amnesty International since around 2014, committing to the organisation by undertaking a variety of roles in both a volunteer and staff capacity. Her interests include Indigenous rights, diversity, human rights under domestic law, inclusivity and cultural representation which were all fostered here at Amnesty! In 2014, Richa commenced as the PA to the Indigenous Rights Manager, Tammy Solonec, assisting with the launch of the Community is Everything campaign. Shortly after, she became the WA Youth Advisory Group representative, and then the WA Branch Secretary. She moved into the staff role of Indigenous Rights Campaigner assistant and on conclusion of that role, became the Vice President of the WA Branch. Over the last year, Richa’s focus has working with partnerships that celebrate diversity and ensuring that cultural representation and diversity is reflected within Amnesty structures.
Hello World! (or this small part of it)
My name is Greg Stitt and I am one of those “rusted-on” Amnesty supporters.
I have the pleasure of being co-convenor of the Mt. Lawley Amnesty group. I first joined this group about thirty years ago and have come along for most of the time since – standing on stalls, collecting tickets at film nights, selling raffles at quiz nights, organizing, tidying, and writing many, many letters to governments.
I was a member of the WA Branch Committee (now re-named the Activism Leadership Committee) during the 90s and rejoined in 2007. I had the honour of succeeding Caroline Wood as Branch President in 2009. Working together with staff and activists to support events and campaigns in WA has had plenty of challenges but enough rewards to keep me strongly involved.
I have also been a member of the national board since 2009 and worked on various of its committees including those devoted to Activism & Membership, Audit & Risk, and Diversity.
I’ve enjoyed the company of many activists (volunteer and employed) and look forward to continuing to support and be supported by the passionate people of Amnesty.
My passion for people and my desire for all individuals to have equal human rights led me to study a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and a Bachelor of Arts (Majors: Politics & International Relations and Social Justice) at The University of Notre Dame. During the final semester of my studies, I was fortunate enough to be offered an internship with Amnesty International WA. I had hoped to work with Amnesty as I have grown up with an awareness of and appreciation for the human rights I enjoy, and realised that not everyone has access to these basic rights that I take for granted. I believed working with Amnesty International would challenge me to play my part in helping to create a world where everyone has the same opportunities to reach their potential.
This internship facilitated my first experience of grassroots activism through research, community organising and mobilising tasks. Since graduating, I have been pleased to continue this work at Amnesty as a regular office volunteer. This year I have been involved in working with youth activists at universities during O-Week and forward planning for the upcoming semesters. Currently, I am working on plans for Beats for Bravery Music and Arts Festival to be held later this year. I have also recently joined the Youth Advisory Group as WA Representative. I hope to continue this work at Amnesty, to learn more about the world we live in and try to make a positive difference in that world.