Australian Capital Territory & Southern New South Wales: meet the candidates!
Hi! My name is Kathy and I’ve been involved in Amnesty since I was in high school in the UK, and more seriously involved when I joined my university group in the USA. Social justice is at the core of everything I do; I believe the rights of all of humanity are intrinsically linked and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we are all protected. I am currently a PhD student at ANU working in the refugee rights space in Australia and Southeast Asia, specifically looking at Statelessness and its impacts on human rights. I am deeply committed to ensuring the communities who are affected are at the centre of both activism and research, where their voices are platformed and perspectives at the forefront. As student of both decolonisation and critical race theories, I aim to include these perspectives in all that I do to challenge traditional perceptions and narratives. For my work at Amnesty this means I am a keen advocate for diversity, inclusion and wellbeing, of which I was on the steering committee last year. I work in the gender and development space, and bring this lens to my volunteer work. I am passionate about the work that Amnesty does and particularly expanding our activist reach in a truly inclusive format where everyone is valued and welcomed wherever they are currently positioned in their activist journey. Everyone’s voice matters, we all have the power to change things, starting with recognising and using our privileges for equality and social justice.
My name is Ronnie. I started with Amnesty in 1980, and have been actively involved since then.
I’ve been a member of multiple groups and a group convenor, both locally and nationally. I’ve held multiple governance roles, including serving a term as a Board member and several terms as a member of the branch / regional committee. I have been Regional President since February 2018.
As an activist, I organised a birthday party for Aung San Suu Kyi, outside the Burmese Embassy, when she was still a prisoner of conscience. I organized a series of International Women’s Day concerts, and I’ve assisted in organizing some of our Quiz nights.
My focus as Regional President, is to support activists, volunteers and groups in both the ACT and Southern NSW, and to grow activism within the region. 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.
I’d like AI Australia to be an organisation where anyone interested in human rights feels at home. I’ve been an advocate of grassroots activism for over a decade, and my other interests include Indigenous and women’s rights, and youth activism.
Christian Lambang Fonye
I am Christian Lambang Fonye. I am a member of the Activism and Leadership Committee for the ACT and Southern NSW Region. I joined Amnesty in 2019 and I am currently a member of the Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Steering Group. I have worked extensively with civil society
organizations in Cameroon where I served as a Protection Officer in the National Human Rights Commission prior to my arrival in Australia. I am currently an Ambassador of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), and fully align to promoting peace through a rights based approach. As an activist, I have been involved in supporting Amnesty’s campaigns, activists and activism groups. I have been involved in advocacy campaigns on juvenile justice, refugee rights and calling for the release of political prisoners and other people at risk. I am committed to translating my previous experience, passion and skills to the promotion of human rights across varied thematic areas. I seek to enhance continuous learning, team-building and active engagement as the building blocks for innovative leadership and positive impact in the promotion of human rights. As a member of the Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Steering Group, identifying evidence based approaches in promoting diversity and inclusion, represents a key priority. I have taken special interest in refugee rights and will continue building on the gains made by the “My New Neighbour” campaign, in mobilizing community support for refugee integration and resettlement. Conscious of the need to ensure inclusion, I will engage tirelessly with the entire team in exploring effective ways of mobilising community support for the most vulnerable categories in Australia. In line with recommendations from United Nations Human rights instruments, I look forward to spotlighting critical human rights concerns about Australia such as indigenous rights and the need for the adoption of a national Human Rights Act. With a consolidated understanding of Amnesty’s strategy, I am confident in the contributions I will bring in growing activism for a positive human rights impact.
Kate Waterford is a former board deputy chair (Vice President) of AI Australia, and was a National Board director between 2014-2019. At board level, her work included chairing the Activism & Membership Committee, and leading on governance reform through the Rethinking Governance project. She also represented the ACT/Southern NSW Region, as a member of the Branch Committee (the previous term for ALC) (2013-2018); as Regional Representative (2014-2018); and as a Voting Delegate (2013 and 2014). Kate is a Canberra-based litigation lawyer and sits on several other not-for-profit boards. She is currently working on her PhD in human rights law and constitutional law at the ANU College of Law.
New South Wales: meet the candidates!
John Della Bosca
Throughout his professional career and personal life John has maintained a strong interest in social policy and social justice. John has always been interested in harnessing the potential of policy innovation to improve social outcomes. In government, John was responsible for a wide range of policy innovations and social reforms across various portfolios. Some examples of reforms that John was responsible for include; returning environmental flows to the Snowy river; the Medically Supervised Injection Centre; universal no-fault cover for the traumatically injured in Motor accidents; Stronger Together which introduced a client directed approach to Disability services; Industrial chain of responsibility laws in the clothing and textile and transport industries; forcing the ratification of the ILO convention on Child Labour by all Australian jurisdictions. Some of these policy reforms were sufficiently exceptional that they attracted International interest.
John has a special interest in large system change management. He is also interested in understanding small-scale cultures particularly their implications for the character of the large-scale organisations within which they operate. John is familiar with the challenges of Health and Education sectors as he held both Portfolios in the NSW government during a time of rapid change. A key emphasis of the reforms John was most closely associated with was to achieve productivity and efficiency not as ends in themselves but as necessities to improve social outcomes.
John has developed a wide-ranging network of contacts across government in the Health and Disability sector and the business community particularly in Sydney but also at a National Level. John commands respect in the Labour movement particularly for encouraging the Union movement to deeper involvement in community. He is equally able to engage with a very wide range of contacts in the Conservative side of politics and among employer advocacy organizations.
I am excited to be nominating to be a General Meeting Voter for the NSW region of Amnesty International Australia. As many of you will know, this is the second Annual Meeting under the new governance rules,
which have seen a greater number of members engaged in AIA’s governance as well as a very high calibre of candidates for our elected bodies. I am excited to see AIA’s governance and accountability go from strength to strength.
I am currently a board director, having stepped down from the chair role in March after three and a half years in the position. I am looking forward to another meeting where we have the opportunity to address the serious human rights issues faced across the world and examine the role of AIA in fighting against grave human rights abuses. I have been an activist and member with AIA for over a decade and am deeply committed to the
organisation and all those who make it tick – members and activists, donors, staff or our huge global community of human rights defenders.
We are facing a time that none of us have ever experienced before – a global pandemic. Amnesty International must be a voice for those impacted by the pandemic. Whether it be by standing up for the privacy of Australian citizens or taking action for censored whistle-blowers.
Glyn became a member of Amnesty International in 1988. 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.
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.
Glyn joined the Branch / Activism Leadership Committee in early 2016, was the Secretary for two years and is now the NSW President. She has been a NAGM delegate twice and was a General Meeting Voter in 2019. Glyn has seen many changes within AIA during that time and is looking forward to continuing further in the transition to the new structures.
Belinda first joined Amnesty at University where she developed an interest in human rights through her studies and exposure to inequity in the community. She is a member of the NSW Activism Committee. She is keen to make activists the centre of decision making at Amnesty and to ensure they are supported to enhance their ability to campaign for human rights.
She spent 20 years in politics including as a NSW Senator in the Federal Parliament, a Member of the House of Representatives and Chief of staff to a NSW Minister. As a member she was able to secure a the establishment of a Cancer Treatment Centre for the Central Coast. She also served as a Councillor on Gosford City Council. Belinda is a lawyer who is mainly engaged by the Not for Profit and disability Sector as a consultant advising in the areas of public affairs and government policy.
She is particularly skilled in advising on how to influence and persuade government through public affairs campaigns.
Belinda has been a member of not for profit boards since the 1980’s and is presently a Director of YC, a not for profit, that provides support for young people. She was a Board Member of the Mount Penang Development Authority for and a foundation Director of Hitech, a publicly listed company and a foundation Director of the Central Coast Mariners Football Club. She has both a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of International Law from Sydney University. She also holds a diploma from Berkley University in Economics for Business. Please feel free to contact me on 0412517520 or email@example.com to discuss any issues.
Prior to entering NSW Parliament in 1988, completed B. Ec Sydney Uni. Commenced Graduate law U NSW early 1980’s.
Helped establish the then South Sydney Women’s Centre and worked there as one its co-coordinators starting in 1976. Worked at Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre 1980-83, focusing on migrant women’s health issues and involved in the centre women behind bars project.
Involved in pro choice movement and reform of the antigay laws in the early 80’s.
Served as Minister 1999-2007 Portfolios included Women Tourism Sport and Recreation Small Business.
Post parliament a number of board memberships, including 2009-2018 Macquarie University Council, NSW TAFE Commission Board member 2008-2013.
Deputy Chair Duke Of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia since 2009.
Have been a member of Amnesty for many years because consider its work to be crucial in creating a better fairer world and standing up for human rights.
Kevin Sweeney is currently the Convenor of the Newcastle Action Group, a member of the NSW Activism Leadership Committee and has been a long term supporter of Amnesty International. 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 and Northern New South Wales: meet the candidates!
Nina Ashfield Crook
My name is Nina (she/they) and I have been an Amnesty activist since 2015. I strongly believe that Amnesty International is an essential organisation for the realisation of human rights for all, and am committed to being part of the journey towards increasing our growth and impact. My vision for our region is to continue making Amnesty more accessible so that everyone feels welcome and that they can make a meaningful contribution to the movement. 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. I am currently a passionate member of the Qld/NNSW ALC and the national Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Steering Group. My proudest activist moment this year was being part of the team that delivered the Qld/NNSW Activism SkillShare.
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. I have now been a part of the QLD/NNSW Activism Leadership Committee for a year. 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 as a general meeting voter.
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 of AIA in 2004 and was Queensland NNSW Branch President from 2005-2008. In 2009 at the National Annual General Meeting (NAGM), Peter was awarded the national June Fassina Award for his extensive contribution to the defence of Human Rights.
Peter has been on the Queensland NNSW Activism and Leadership Committee since 2018. Peter believes one of AIA’s great strengths is that it is a member-led organisation and members do have a say. That is one reason he is nominating as a General Meeting Voter (GMV) at the 2020 AGM – another is to catch up (virtually) with many friends, activists and staff, in the Amnesty family.
Peter retired in 2014 after more than 20 years working as a Learning Adviser at James Cook University. Outside his involvement with Amnesty, Peter 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.
Hello from me, Pearl of the Queensland/Nth NSW Region. I am a member of the Chermside group and have been since 2008. Initially, attending stalls and getting petitions signed. I participated in Amnesty training events over the years and have made some close friends through Amnesty. After 3 years, I went from attending events to becoming the convenor of the group and organising events. My group members and I discovered different venues to have stalls and which worked for us. One year we organised 7 stalls! After 3 years I joined the Branch Committee of the region (now known as the Activism Leadership Committee. At the ALC level I learnt how Amnesty operated on a national and international level. I
helped organise catering at our form Branch AGMs. I got to attend events on behalf of our region. The most challenging event I organised was a Brisbane’s schools conference in 2018. These were great opportunities to represent Amnesty. I was part of the Governance reform committee in 2018 and know about the current new model of Amnesty’s governance and new structure of operation in the new model. For this reason and for the fact I have been a long-term activist, I feel confident in representing the Queensland/Nth NSW Region. I hope you will vote for me.
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.
I have six years’ experience as a community and national leader with Amnesty International. After five years on the QLD/NNSW Activism Leadership Committee (ALC) I was appointed as Regional President in January 2020. I have convened the Amnesty Gold Coast Group for the six years where I gained experience in event planning, MP engagement, community mapping, facilitating training, public speaking, and activist and community engagement. In addition I spent four years as the Regional Representative for Indigenous Youth Justice where I assisted in the development and implementation of a national and local organising strategic plan and the development of campaign tactics. I have a fathomless passion for human rights, equality and justice and plan to continue my work and studies in this sector while advocating for rights holders and supporting the sustainable growth of our people powered movement.
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 and Northern Territory: meet the candidates!
Ainoa Cabada Rey
Ainoa has been a member of Amnesty International Australia for over four years. Her journey with Amnesty began as the community organiser intern in the SA/NT office and she quickly moved onto the regional campaign organiser role leading ‘Community is Everything’ in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Since 2017, Ainoa has been a member of the Activist Leadership Committee and is currently the Secretary.
During this time, Ainoa has organised stalls and events, campaign blitzes in both SA and NT, lobbied politicians, supported activists, led the participation of Amnesty in the development of justice reinvestment in South Australia and represented Amnesty on multiple occasions at collaborative community roundtables.
Ainoa works as a researcher in the higher education industry and is currently studying her PhD in Politics.
Vincent is currently a member of the Amnesty International SA/NT activism leadership committee and is one of the co-founders of the Queer Amnesty International Adelaide Action Group. He has experience in organising activism events with the Queer action group and Artillery SA and has previously held a position on the SA/NT Branch Committee.
With the unsettling rise of social injustice around the world, it is a necessity for every day civilians to reserve the rights to resist hegemonic oppression and to take action in demanding for their own fair treatment and equal opportunities. Hence, Vincent hopes to continue to defend human rights and build a movement of resistance that antagonises such oppressive treatment of people of diverse backgrounds through his activism with Amnesty International.
Outside of Amnesty, Vincent works at a charity for people with sensory needs as a researcher. In his spare time, he enjoys watching comedies, dancing to Kpop and everything bubble tea.
My name is Deanna Hall and I wish to nominate as a General Meeting Voter for the AIA 2020 AGM.
After completing a degree in International Relations, I worked as a volunteer in the Amnesty International SA/NT office, which gave me a good background and overall understanding of Amnesty’s work at a grass roots level. I am particularly passionate about refugees.
I have been a member of our Branch Committee for 5 years, and for the last 4 years have held the position of Vice President. Outside of Amnesty I am an event manager, and I have utilised my skills to manage and assist with a number of small- and large-scale events for Amnesty International, including a national Amnesty conference/AGM, as well as fundraising and outreach events.
We are working our way through unprecedented times, and now more then ever need to be looking out for those that can’t protect themselves.
I’m Saras (she/her) and I live on Kaurna Country – the Adelaide Plains. I first got involved in Amnesty in the UK after having cousins who were Sri Lankan refugees come to live with us and learning about human rights through Amnesty ambassadors like Sting. After joining a local letter writing group (where I was the youngest member by about 30 years) I set up a school group. I used my Amnesty experience in campaigning and fundraising when I moved to Malaysia, to support local communities and conservation. In Australia, I have learnt much from working with First Nations People about a different type of society, one that values community wellbeing and nature and recognises that our spiritual, physical, social and mental health is interlinked with that of others and with nature. Their struggles spurred me to join the Group Organiser program where I caught the “Amnesty bug” and became secretary and then Regional President for SANT. I’m currently the planning and evaluation coordinator on the SANT ALC.
I am nominating to be a General Meeting Voter as it’s even more important in this great time of change, that Amnesty continues to operate effectively to defend human rights. The changes that COVID-19 have thrust upon us bring challenges as we can’t do our usual stalls, rallies and meetings but they also bring the opportunity to trial ways to be more inclusive and reduce our carbon footprint. I look forward to continuing our work together to create a sustainable and fair world.
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. Wanting to continue my involvement after finishing uni, I joined the then Branch Committee (now ALC) in the SA/NT region, where I’ve now been for just over three years and am currently President. Highlights have included organising stalls at local festivals, petition blitzes, letter writing and, most of all, meeting a diverse range of people who are passionate about making a difference. Outside of Amnesty I work in media and communications, and in my downtime, I enjoy music, travelling and photography.
Tasmania: meet the candidates!
Henry is a current member of the Tasmanian Activism and Leadership Committee (ALC) and has previously served in the roles of Branch Treasurer, Branch Vice-President, and Branch President. He has been a General Meeting Voter for the last 3 AGMs and has previously nominated as a candidate for the National Board.
Henry is also an appointed Member of the Activism and Membership Committee of the National Board and is the Minutes Secretary of the Governance Committee of the National Board.
Henry has been a member of Amnesty International Australia since 2017.
Outside of Amnesty, Henry works full-time in the legal industry and enjoys studying, having previously completed degrees in Law, Criminology, Philosophy, Dementia and Legal Practice through Deakin University, the University of Tasmania and the College of Law respectively. Henry is currently completing a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours).
Henry believes that this is a critical time for human rights activism, particularly in light of the challenges presented by COVID-19 on local, national and international levels. Henry is particularly interested in LGBTIQA+ issues and the right to protest.
I have been the co-convener of Amnesty Southern Tas Group since 2015. Our group is strong, vibrant and active and has held many events, with our major focus on Indigenous Rights and Refugees, including bringing Julian Burnside to share the screening of his documentary ‘Border Politics’. We have shown numerous films about Asylum Seekers and Refugees at well-attended events and hold stalls as needed, including the two-day Write for Rights stall at the annual Cygnet Folk Festival.
We network closely with Amnesty’s Indigenous Advisor, Rodney Dillon, and have screened significant films with Rodney as guest speaker. We have met with key politicians at Local, State and Federal level, including the Premier (gaining representation at COAG). In 2016 we successfully petitioned for the Huon Valley LGA being declared a ‘Refugee Welcome Zone’. We network with community groups and individuals such as Asylum Seeker Advocate Anne Moon; co-hosting events.
Recently I instigated and coordinated four of the five events of the Uyghur campaign in Tas.
I come from a Welfare and Disability background. Have attended NAGM’s as observer and voter, also AI Leadership Workshops and RAR National Conference, with Southern Group co-convener and stalwart, Sylvia Merope.
Having been on the ALC since last year it would be a privilege to be a General Meeting Voter again and have the opportunity to further human rights and strengthen the impact of Amnesty regionally and nationally.
“My name is Molly Bird and I am currently in my fifth year of a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) at the University of Tasmania (UTAS).
I have been an active member of Amnesty International since 2016, when I first joined the UTAS action group as a grassroots volunteer. In 2017 and 2018 I was the group convenor and society President for that action group, where we worked actively on using our academic connections to host panels concerning human rights, multiple film screenings and stalls. I have also assisted with schools outreach in southern Tasmania and assisted with youth targeted events in Hobart.
In 2017, I attended NAGM as a general voter. Soon after, I was nominated to join the then Branch Committee in Tasmania. I have been a member on this committee continuously since 2017 and wish to continue to do so. I was also fortunate to have been elected as ALC treasurer.
Making the world a better place is something I wish to pursue throughout my career. Throughout my degree I have focused on human rights-based units both here and in my Swedish exchange semester, and I believe that this knowledge will be valuable and aid my work with Amnesty International Australia now and even more so in the future.”
I have been a member of Amnesty International since May 2014 and a financial supper and human rights defender since 2009.
I am a former director on the Board of AIA and my 4 year term of office expired in 2019. My current experience extends to being a member of the Governance Committee and being a member of the Activist Leadership Committee for Tasmania.
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.
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 currently the Tasmanian ALC President.
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.
Victoria: meet the candidates!
I am a highly passionate and engaged human rights defender. During the day, I fight for social justice for vulnerable members of the community as a lawyer, and by night, I defend human rights as a grassroot activist. I have been a longstanding Amnesty International Australia (“AIA”) activist. My previous roles included the treasurer for Victoria, 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 at AIA National AGMs and a member of the Refugee Network, Focus Leadership Group and the Victoria Branch Committee.
I am currently a member of the Victoria Activism Leadership Committee and working closely with various Amnesty groups in our region. Other social justice organisations that I have worked at included 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 6 years’ experience as an Amnesty activist, I am excited to continue being a member and activist of the Amnesty global movement to empower and motivate our activists, defend human rights and build a stronger and fairer community.
Suzan has been part of Amnesty International for over 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 six 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. She is also the mentor for the Victorian LGBTIQA+ Network.
Suzan works as a lawyer in the social justice space and is passionate about access to justice. More recently she has gained experience in judicial processes, decision making and research. 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 (pictured).
Marjon (MJ) is a volunteer and active member of Amnesty International. She joined the Amnesty International Student Group Amsterdam (AISA) when studying Political Science in the Netherlands. When she moved to Australia in 2018, she started working as an office volunteer at Amnesty International Australia in both the Social Media and Events teams. She created content for and managed the Instagram page for Amnesty International Victoria (@amnesty_vic) for 1.5 years. As part of the Events team, she processed event applications, designed promotional materials, and prepared materials for the action groups. In addition, she initiated and coordinated the Victorian Write for Rights Marathon, a letter-writing event featuring expert speakers, in 2018 and 2019. While she is passionate about social justice and defending human rights in general, she is particularly interested in women’s rights, children’s rights, and LGBTIQ rights.
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 organizations, 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 completing here master’s in international Relations at Melbourne University. Her study focus revolves around international governance and law, and international human rights regimes. She also completed a course at SciencesPo university in Paris on human rights and global development.
She has been part of the VALC for over a year now and has worked to increase the involvement of the ALC in activist engagement.
Hi, I’m Anita Nair and I’m currently working in youth activism, through the Youth Advisory Group, and in the Refugee campaign as a regional lead in Victoria. These opportunities have allowed me to be a part of creating and implementing the new youth strategy and working in the My New Neighbour campaign in Victoria.
I’m passionate about making our movement and our activism accessible to everyone. Something I’ve been fortunate to be a part of, especially through YAG, is a greater sense of autonomous activism – and this is something I hope we can further; by creating supportive spaces where individuals can initiate ideas which resound with them. Also, I hope that we can work to remove the implicit barriers which are present for people to engage in these spaces. I think diverse activism, whether that be in our campaigns, actions or members, has the capacity to reach more impacts, and I’m excited to be working in Amnesty to be a part of this.
My name is Katrina North and I am nominating to be a GMV.
I have been an activist with Amnesty International for nearly two decades in Australia and while living in the UK. I am the longest serving member of the Victorian Activist Leadership Committee (former Branch Committee) having been a representative for over eight years and I am the Victorian Regional President. In my time on the ALC I have helped with many projects and activities including being the project manager for the AIA 2014 National AGM and Human Rights Conference held in Melbourne that was an outstanding success. I am also the Convener of my local AI North East Metro Group I feel this gives me a strong understanding of what matters to our grassroots activists.
In the past I have worked with people seeking asylum and Refugees here in Australia and in the UK. For the last few years I have been working in the class room at a school for children with disabilities. Working with groups of people who are often marginalised I learn many things that I can bring to my activism.
Mark is the Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Workplace Wizards. He is highly experienced and expert at managing a range of employee and industrial relations matters. He has advised Australian businesses for over 10 years and has worked with a large stable of major national and international brands.
Mark has multi-disciplinary capabilities and is actively involved with client projects from the initial strategy stage through to final implementation. He is legally trained, having attained a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Master of Laws (Workplace Relations).
Prior to founding Workplace Wizards, Mark worked as the Principal Workplace Relations Consultant at Victoria’s largest employer association as well as in-house at leading national and international law companies. He is passionate about extracting the infinite possibilities out of leaders and staff as well as resolving those people matters that restrict peak performance.
Mark is a member of the Industrial Relations Society of Victoria (having previously been one of its executive committee members). He is also a member of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, and the Williamstown CYMS football club. He has appeared regularly as a guest university lecturer and in the media commenting on current workplace relations issues affecting business.
I am a highly engaged member and activist leader here at AIA. I am currently Chair of AIA’s Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing Steering Group after 4 years on the National Board. I was Victorian Branch President (2013-2015) and have been a member of the Victorian Branch Committee/Activism Leadership Committee and the Footscray/Williamstown Action Group since about 2012. I have previous experience as a General Meeting Voter (2013, 2014 and 2019).
I am unwavering in my passion for developing positive relationships and improving communications across Amnesty, and throughout the broader human rights movement. I strive for transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, innovation and continuous improvement in all that I do, including at Amnesty.
During my time as Branch President and then as a Board Member, I helped drive and design AIA’s new membership growth strategy and AIA’s recent governance reform. I was also an early member of the Board’s Activism and Membership Sub-Committee and helped establish its role within our organisation.
I’ve had 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, I run a thriving workplace relations consultancy and law firm with her husband helping to unlock people power in business as well as in the community.
Hi, I am Finlay Spalding and I am currently the LGBTIQ Lead for Victoria and a member of the Youth Advisory Group (YAG).
Being an LGBTIQ lead 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, especially in the era of COVID-19.
Similarly, it is also vital that we reach out to young people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Young people should have a front and centre role in Human Rights activism. We are the future, of course.
Currently, I am studying for my Bachelor of Arts at Deakin University majoring in International Relations and Middle Eastern studies.
I began volunteering for Amnesty Victoria in December 2018 after attending the monthly Refugee Network volunteer meetings and also explored other opportunities to contribute to Amnesty’s work. In early 2019, after volunteering at several LGBTQIA+ events, I was asked to become a co-convener of Amnesty Victoria’s LGBTQIA+ Network.
I have been in this position for little over a year, and have been responsible for organizing Amnesty’s involvement in events such as the Midsumma Pride Parade and Midsumma Festival (which was very successful and our network managed to get 600 actions). I was also involved in planning and launching a new LGBTQIA+ book/movie club to cater to LGBTQIA+ folks who are more introverted and prefer quiet spaces to meet and engage with the broader community.
My main task in this past year has been to oversee the re-launching and growth of the LGBTQIA+ Network, which entered a period of dormancy after the success of marriage equality and former volunteers of the network moved onto other activities. Though this task has been challenging, I am optimistic that our network will continue to grow and work towards including even more members and achieving even greater things. Through becoming a General Meeting Voter, I am hoping to guide Amnesty Australia’s future direction and vision and help my network achieve its full potential.
I have been passionate about Human Rights and Equality for the majority 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 have also been a part of relaunching the Victoria LGBTIQA+ group and have helped run several successful events, including a Book & Movie Club and a stall at Midsumma.
I became an active member and volunteer of Amnesty International in mid-2018 after my retirement from legal practice as a sole practitioner for 25 years and as a life member of the Eastern Community Legal Service.
Initially I joined the Individuals at Risk Network Group before being invited to fill the vacant position of Secretary with the then Victorian Branch Committee and continuing as a member of the Victorian ALC.
I have been fortunate to attend the 2018 NAGM and EGM and observe the introduction of Amnesty’s new Governance and Constitutional reforms, and again attended the 2019 AGM as a voting member. I would welcome the opportunity to partake as a voter again.
I am looking to help reactivate the CIE Network Group in Victoria again during the coming year.
In these challenging times I believe that it is important that Amnesty keeps its focus on the core values for the protection of human rights and find new and innovative ways to attract members.
My other interests include marine and environmental conservation.
I am a retired high school teacher whose first involvement with Amnesty was as a mentor for the Mirboo North High School Amnesty group in 1976. I initiated and led student Amnesty groups for twenty-one years at four different high schools. In addition to letter writing and raffle ticket sales, these groups also conducted a very successful fund-raising effort each year through their Candle Day cake stall, totalling over $10,000. The school AI groups received good publicity in the local newspapers. I have also started local Amnesty groups in Kentucky, Rarotonga, and Gippsland. I am now an active member of a local group in the Goldfields area of Victoria.
I’ve always had a keen interest in human rights issues and relished the opportunity to focus on them in my teaching, for example in The Crucible, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Fringe Dwellers, My Place, and as an integral part of the VCE International Studies course. My interest in human rights is as strong as ever, and is now focussed primarily on ending Australia’s cruel treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.
I have been a member of Amnesty for over 20 years, a member of the AIA Governance Committee (a Board Committee) since 2016 and most recently, Chair of that Committee. I also worked on the Rethinking Governance project which has resulted in a new era for Amnesty in Australia.
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 can survive this unprecedented year which we are all living through. Competition for funds was tough even before this year and now we are facing challenges which we have never had to face before. The strategy of the organisation, good governance and decision-making is increasingly important in this environment and will be key in ensuring that our mission and values are fulfilled and our goals met, both in Australia and globally.
I would welcome the opportunity to make a contribution by voting at General Meetings.
I am a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience, have consulted as a governance specialist to a range of organisations and have held senior governance and company secretary roles in the financial services and not-for-profit sectors.
Western Australia: meet the candidates!
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, is responsive, 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 at times 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.
I have previously served as a delegate to the National AGM, VP of the WA Branch, and contributed to Amnesty policy through roles on the Grassroots Working Group and other consultative committees.
Most of my professional experience has been as a classical musician and in education, as a teacher, educational leader, and union organiser.
As a GMV, I am committed to ensuring that Amnesty retains its reputation as a highly respected human rights organisation, that members continue to have a voice on issues that matter to them, and that ultimately, we have a positive impact on human rights for all.
Hi everyone! I’m Euan Gleeson-Brown, and I’m a third-year uni student at UWA. My involvement for human rights began when I first discovered amnesty in my first year of university when I came across a friend at an Amnesty campus stall. Through my uni club, I’ve organised a Refugee Rights week event in collaboration with other uni clubs, a kite-writing event in solidarity with Hong Kong and a volunteering event for a local homeless charity, putting together women’s sanitary packs. My experience being the President & Treasurer of Amnesty UWA, volunteering with the WA branch & Mt. Lawley group and presently collaborating with youth activists in YAG & the WA schools group has grown my passion for youth activism, and I hope to share my experience, excitement & creativity in the fight for human rights as a member of the WA ALC & GMV. Cheers!
Fathi Jaouadi, (known as Saber)
My name is Fathi Jaouadi, (known as Saber).
I am a human rights advocate and a documentary Filmmaker.
I was involved in social justice movements from when I was a school student in Tunisia, which was suffering under a draconian dictatorship and had been for many decades. At the age of 15 years I found myself taking part in street protests to support imprisoned students, distributing leaflets and organizing student groups. When I was 18 years old, the Tunisian police arrested me for participating in a campaign against the American military operation in Iraq during the First Gulf War. I was released on bail after two months spent in prison and enduring torture in the secret police cells. I decided at that time to flee the country and escaped to Libya. For seven years I moved between many African countries looking for a safe place and was eventually granted UNHCR protection in Sudan where I finished my first University degree. It was during these years that I took on a different identity and became known as Saber. Dreaming of reaching Canada I was arrested in both Senegal and Ivory Coast, and if it weren’t for the UNHCR who stopped my deportation back to Tunisia, I would have faced 9 years imprisonment and 9 years administrative detention back in my homeland; a sentence imposed on me in absentia.
After several tries, I reached London and applied for asylum. I had to wait 4 years until I got my refugee status. During this time I started my masters degree and became involved in human rights work in the MENA region. I was a member of the International Committee to Defend the Prisoners of Conscience in Tunisia. We organised weekly sit-ins in front of the Tunisian Embassy in London for years and I took part in a 5-day hunger strike in protest against the death of political prisoners in Tunisia. I also became involved in human rights work in the Middle East and was one of the organizers who tried to break the illegal siege of Gaza. In this work we brought together many delegations of human rights advocates, doctors, lawyers, musicians and parliamentarians to visit Gaza by sea, and brought from Gaza students and people in need of medical assistance who had no other access to Europe.
In one instance our boat was attacked by the Israeli Navy and almost sunk, but thanks to a UN boat and the Lebanese Navy we were escorted to Lebanon. In another instance I was captured at sea by the Israeli Navy and was sent to an Israeli prison for a week.
In 2011 following the Arab Spring and after 19 years in exile I was able to return to my homeland, Tunisia. I helped establish a community TV station (Tunisia News Network) to promote democracy and human rights in Tunisia. I lead a delegation of Lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild (US), Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers (UK),and Mazlumder (Turkey), to Tunisia in 2011 to investigate US and European complicity in human rights abuses committed by the Tunisian regime. I also made a film about the Human rights abuses in Tunisia during the 2011 revolution.
Between 2014 and 2017 I was involved with the dispossessed and immigrant communities. I spent time with the exiled Kurdish Iranian community in Kurdistan struggling for autonomy in Iran; the African migrant communities in the suburbs of Paris, consistently marginalized from French society, and the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, still living in the refugee camps that they have been in since 1948. All of these stories are documented in films I made.
I moved to Australia in 2019 and I was grateful to become involved with Amnesty. I am currently an ALC member and am interested in Indigenous issues and Refugee rights
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 name is Emily and I am excited at the prospect of becoming a General Meeting Voter – and having a say on the future of Amnesty International Australia. I am a current member of the WA Activism Leadership Committee and the WA Representative of the Youth Advisory Group. I consider myself to be a active listener and a rational thinker who has the ability to consider issues from a variety of different perspectives. I believe these skills will allow me to vote with the best interest of my fellow activists in Western Australia in mind. To quote American political activist, Helen Keller, “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. I look forward to seeing this in action as we vote collectively to grow the Amnesty movement and create greater human rights impact.
Greetings all. I’m a recently retired School Psychologist who has been a member of Amnesty for 39 years, was the Convenor of the Bunbury Group for over 20 years and served a term as Vice President of the WA Branch Committee. I care deeply about Prisoners of Conscience, Torture Victims and the Death Penalty and feels these should be central to Amnesty’s work. I believe that many ordinary Australians would be shocked if they knew how many countries in the world grossly mistreat their entirely peaceful citizens and want Amnesty to get even better at getting this message through. I want Amnesty Australia to be even better known than it is now and for it to be recognized as a group who people can trust will always get its facts straight whenever they read one of its public statements. I want Amnesty Australia to be seen as welcoming to all who live in Australia no matter what their nationality, gender, age, education, socioeconomic background, religious or political opinion as long as they support the basic Human Rights we all agree on.