Australian Capital Territory & Southern New South Wales: meet the ALC members!
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.
I joined Amnesty as an Activist in 2019. I have worked extensively with civil society organizations in Cameroon operating in the domain of human rights and Sustainable development. I have a background in Peace operations with a forte for human rights protection. I have workd as a Program Coordinator for Peace, Conflict and International Relations in the Pan African Institute for Development West Africa where I taught human rights and humanitarian action. I served as a Protection Officer in the National Human Rights Commission in Cameroon prior to my arrival in Australia. I am currently an Ambassador for the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and have taken a commitment to promote positive peace through human rights advocacy and civilian protection. I am passionate about human rights and have taken enormous interest in refugee rights and the pursuit of a rights based approach to sustainable development and human security. I am excited to join Amnesty International Australia as an activist and to participate in the “#MyNewNeighbour” campaign. I look forward to engage with the team in the interest of promoting and protecting 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.
My name is Angela and I am very excited to nominate for the Activism Leadership Committee in the ACT & Southern NSW (ACT/SNSW) region.
I am a long-time supporter of Amnesty International Australia (AIA) and am very passionate about the organisation and human rights.
Since the start of 2017 I have been actively involved in the organisation through a number of elected positions on the ACT/SNSW Branch Committee. My positions and past involvement have included Branch Committee General Member, Treasurer, Secretary and co Vice President.
I have been involved in a number of initiatives within our local region including our flagship Eminent Speaker Series, and more recently a partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland and ANU to run human rights focused events to promote awareness and dialogue in the region. The current governance changes and organisational reform present some unique but exciting challenges for AIA. I hope that in my capacity on the Activism Leadership Committee I can help support local activists and activism in our region as we all work together to navigate the changes and do our bit to build a stronger AIA. Thank you for your consideration. Angela
I am a uni student studying environmental sustainability and biotechnology; however, I’ve been passionate about human rights since I can remember. I have been an Amnesty Activist since last year after moving to the ACT. I am extremely passionate about LGBTIQA+ issues, being part of the community myself, and am also super passionate about refugee issues and climate issues. In my short time at Amnesty I have been involved in organising events as part of the conversion therapy campaign last year, as well as for My New Neighbour. I have as of recently taken up a regional role with the My New Neighbour campaign and am in the midst of starting up an ACT rainbow amnesty group. If elected I would make meetings more accessible having options to dial in for those in more rural areas. I would bring passion and dedication to continue to create a strong and supportive organisation, as well as stay up to date and work with groups in surrounding regions. The ACT is in quite a unique position in regard to advocating for community sponsorship as our local government has already signed their support; and I would love to use this platform to continue advocating and illustrate to the federal government the sheer amount of support community sponsorship has in Australia.
Despite being one of the smaller territories in Australia, I would love to show just how loud of a voice and large of an impact we can have!
New South Wales: meet the ALC members!
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.
Queensland & Northern New South Wales: meet the ALC members!
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
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.
In school I door knocked for the Salvo’s & Red Cross; I couldn’t afford to join Greenpeace (they were saving the whales at that time) (Japan).
In High School, a legal studies (elective) teacher taught us about the UDHR & the Geneva Convention (& our Vets) but couldn’t provide copies.
My child went to child care while I worked; gov tried to introduce regs; the minister told a parent that it was “none of her business, it was between the gov & the centres.
We organised, incorporated, petitioned, held parents meetings, press meetings, rallies etc. We nationalised. The collective achieved fee relief, we achieved a seat on the Accreditation Council & parents became involved in all centres.
I obtained a copy of UDHR during that time, gave it (& the Constitution) to gay activists during the 90s, obtained another this century.
I’ve been on&off-in&out of voluntary/humanitarian efforts ever since, between & during work.
The last few years I have been supporting Amnesty, HRW, OHCHR, MSF, IFEX etc on Twitter (& on the streets) with a personal focus on Refugees & more recently RaiseTheAge and JusticeMatters(ICC).
Australia ratifying the UDHR has been a lifelong dream and therefor I will be very happy when RightsCharter achieves their goal in the not to distant future.
I can do more & I would like to do more & therefore seek your approval to join the Activism Leadership Committee.
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.
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 would like to continue to contribute and re-nominate for the ALC again this year.
My work as CIE tactics team member over the past four years and through my role as GC Group Convener, I have developed my activism skills and have enjoyed encouraging others to participate and broaden their Amnesty and campaign knowledge. I enjoy contributing to the production of campaign tool kits and coming up with creative ways to bring awareness to campaigns and issues including arranging stunts and events such as community forums, arts exhibition, music events, stalls, online actions and canvasing. The work I did along side campaign experts, Community Organisers and Amnesty leaders has equipped me with the skills to lead and support activists along their Amnesty journey and help upskill as much as possible so volunteers can move up through the circles of commitment. I was also involved in the branch’s working groups for Amnesty 2020 vision working along side my fellow branch members to motivate and steer our volunteers toward our 2020 vision.
I have learnt so much in my years on the Branch and would like to continue my work as an ALC member over the coming years.
South Australia / Northern Territory: meet the ALC members!
Leticia (she/her, they/them) is the Convenor of the Queer Amnesty International Adelaide Action Group and is also currently sitting on the Activism Leadership Committee for SA/NT. She also partakes in activism and advocacy outside of Amnesty International through being the Campaigns Officer at the Queer Society, and is an avid Climate Change activist. She is 22 years old, a university student at UniSA and is very passionate about queer rights and human rights, locally, nationally and internationally. Considering herself an emerging leader in the SA queer community, she has been taking every opportunity to be the best she can be for us all. She is an honorary member of Pussy Riot, organising a Rally for Chechnya in March 2019; she’s ready to take on the world.
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.
I first became active in the peace movement in the 1970s. Throughout the 1980s I co-chaired an activist group that coordinated events in support of human rights in Central America. On many occasions I acted as interpreter for visiting human rights defenders, Indigenous Elders and trade union activists from Central and South America. Being so close to their words and experiences galvanised my lifelong commitment to working with and on behalf of people whose rights are threatened, which in turn led me to Amnesty.
I have been a member of Amnesty International Australia since 1994, a member of the SA/NT Branch Committee from 2005 to 2008, and again since 2015; SA/NT Branch President from 2006 to 2008; general member of the national board from 2008 to 2011; and National (and Company) Secretary from 2011 to 2015.
While on the board I contributed to the work of several committees including: Governance Committee (2008–2015, chair 2011–2015), Steering Committee overseeing implementation of the 2007 NAGM Resolution on Indigenous Rights (2007–2008), Public Fund Committee (chair 2011–2015), International Nominations Committee (2007–2008).
At Amnesty we are an extraordinary team, with a strong sense of how much we can achieve by working together. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to keep contributing to grassroots human rights activism. Thank you
Henry de Cure
My name is Henry de Cure and I’ve been an activist with Amnesty International since 2014. I started out as a volunteer in the Adelaide action centre and then joined the branch committee a year later.
In 2016 I attended the National AGM as one of South Australia’s voting delegates.
I’ve also held positions on the Grassroots Working Group and as convenor for the Schools Network Outreach Team.
I really enjoy contributing to such an important cause and love the people involved at Amnesty International. We have a great team in South Australia and look forward to what we can achieve on the ALC in the next 12 months.
Outside of Amnesty International, I work at Suncorp bank and have been playing Wheelchair Tennis on the world tour since 2005, representing Australia at the 2018 World Team Cup in the Netherlands.
My name is Deanna Hall and I wish to nominate to be a member of the Amnesty International SA/NT Activism Leadership Committee.
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 4 years, and for the last 3 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 have an amazing and dynamic branch here in SA/NT and I look forward to continuing our important work.
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.
Saras Suresh Kumar
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.
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.
Tasmania: meet the ALC members!
I have been a member of Amnesty International Australia (‘AIA’) since 2017.
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 our organisational governance is sound and effective. I am pleased to contribute to AIA’s efforts by providing an objective and realistic approach to region specific matters and issues of national significance.
With my background in law, justice and policy, in addition to my keen interest in corporate insolvency, I have the necessary competencies to advocate effectively for the most strategic use of AIA’s limited resources and for the benefit of the Tasmania Region.
My name is Molly Bird and I am currently in my fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws 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 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 branch treasurer. I am currently in the working group on Supporting and Retaining Groups and Looking to Group Growth post-2020, which as a grassroots activist, I find close to my heart.
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, 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 2008.
The Activist Leadership Committee was set up to provides a critical link between local action groups and the movement at a national level. With this in mind, being a current Regional Rep and Board member of Amnesty International, I am experienced with Amnesty’s internal workings and can be a source of knowledge for ALC members. I encourage the development of new ideas and the implementation of new processes to help the ALC achieve human rights activism and impact.
As a lawyer I have technical skills in understanding and interpreting legal documents for the ALC to consider and I also have excellent drafting and written skills which can assist the ALC in lobbying and writing persuasive pieces.
I am very hardworking, reliable and provide continuity of leadership at the ALC level.
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 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.
Victoria: meet the ALC members!
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 have been a member of the Victorian Branch Committee since 2017, with a focus on supporting and training fellow activists, and contributing to the recent governance changes at Amnesty. As a lawyer with a background in mental health and disability rights, I hope to contribute as a member of the Activist Leadership Committee to ensure that Amnesty remains accountable to its members and strives to fight against injustice in places big and small.
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.
My name is Katrina North and I am nominating to be a member of the Victorian Activism Leadership Committee.
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 seven years and I am now 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 Convenor 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.
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 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.
Western Australia: meet the ALC members!
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.
Being on Whadjuck Noongar boodja (Perth, Western Australia), Johnny’s work spans across the intersection of arts and culture, technology, community, non-for-profits, human rights and social impact. He is particularly passionate about working and supporting projects that lead towards a fairer, more equitable and socially just world – one where all members of the community can actively participate. He currently works as the Incubator Manager for Apps People (working with neurodiverse people to develop apps), volunteers as the Partnerships Coordinator for Paper Mountain (an artists run initiative supporting emerging artists in WA), Chair of Northbridge Common (focussed on making our corner of the world a more exciting, vibrant and liveable neighbourhood).
My name is Emiko Mori-Wiffen, I am 28 years old and live in Perth, Western Australia. I am a passionate human rights activist and I have volunteered with Amnesty International Australia since 2015.
I am particularly interested in women’s rights, policy, youth matters, climate change, and activist support. I have a creative and strategic mindset and I am dedicated to the work I do with Amnesty International. Being a part of a global movement that strives for all individuals to live their lives where their human rights are supported and protected is something that has always appealed to me.
To combat human rights abuses effectively I believe unlocking the potential of activists to make them powerful leaders of change is an essential part of the solution. I believe being on the Activism Leadership Committee will give me the chance to provide leadership and activist support to members and activists in the WA region. Lastly, I am excited to be a part of steering the direction of the regional and national plans for Amnesty International Australia to make a global movement that inspires and creates change to build a sustainable future for everyone.
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.
My name is Kombe Musonda. I have a bachelor of Art/Legal Studies Degree attained from the University Of Notre Dame, Fremantle.
I am currently working as an Assistant Manager at Starick Services Inc, a women’s refuge that supports women and children who have experienced and/or are still experiencing Family and Domestic Violence. In 2014, I was awarded the Community Leader Award from the Celebrating African Australia WA Inc.
I have been a member of Amnesty International Australia since 2010. During my time as a member, I have served 7 of those years as a Branch committee member (now Activism Leadership Committee – ALC), served 2 years of that time as the Branch Vice President and recently was the Branch Committee Treasurer.
I have been given the chance to travel and attend Human Rights’ conferences and a number of National Annual General Meetings as both an observer and voting delegate.
Human rights have always been a passion of mine and I love the fact that Amnesty enables one to utilise their voice to either point out the lack of it or highlight the need for them. I am passionate about the plight of women’s right and have seen firsthand through my job, what a society without rules and legislation protecting one of the most vulnerable groups in the country, (women and children) looks like. The system is changing but more change is needed.
I love that the ALC not only allows for one to take note of the governance side of the organisation, but to act as a representation of the members in the region and voice back requests and information from them. I would like to continue to be a part of the ALC to make a note of any injustices and points of progress I see and hopefully work on actioning same.
I am a firm believer of one step taken in the right direction being better than none taken at all. I feel I can bring to the committee my knowledge of the Domestic Violence sector and my experience as an ALC member from previous years. I also intend to learn from my fellow committee member on their various expertise and knowledge base. One never ceases learning.
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.
Dr. Ruth Tigges holds postgraduate degrees in Global Public Policy and Business Administration, and is a systemic organisational development (OD) professional with strong skills in guiding individuals and teams in organisations to assess their needs as well as implementing sustainable change and development measures to achieve their purpose and goals. Ruth has extensive knowledge and experience in international development/social transformation processes and is mother to two wonderful girls.
Ruth has been a member of the WA ALC for the past 2 years, and is currently leading the WA Training Team.
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.