Our democratic movement in action

At the end of July, 41 people, including current AGM delegates, branch presidents and board directors from all around the country, came together to discuss what our movement should look like in 30 years’ time.

Together your representatives considered the opportunity we have to change our governance structures to ensure that Amnesty International Australia is the largest and bravest member-led human rights campaigning organisation in Australia.

At our upcoming Annual General Meeting in October 2018, the National Board of AI Australia will present special resolutions. If adopted by voting delegates at the meeting, these changes will improve the way you as a member will be able to participate in our democracy, activism and human rights work here at home and overseas too.

Working together, your representatives developed a governance model that we believe will best position AI Australia to work toward our goal of defending human rights around the world.

Highlights of the proposed changes include:

  • A new Activism Forum that all members can attend, where activists, staff and the board work together on the most important issues for our movement: activism and campaigning. This will facilitate member engagement and leadership in campaigning and human rights.
  • For the first time, members all over Australia will be able to vote from their own living rooms! Ballots to decide our regional leaders and delegates who attend and vote at the AGM will be posted or emailed to all members so you can have your say, wherever you are.
  • More information will be available to members about board candidates. An independent committee will use skills and diversity criteria to assess candidates for the seven elected positions, plus up to two co-opted positions. These changes aim to make sure the board is more diverse, and also has a mix of skills to help AI Australia deliver maximum human rights impact.
  • We will create regional activism committees, empowering members to lead and coordinate activism, campaigning, and training in local communities and across the nation.

These are once in a generation changes, resulting from extensive consultation and deep consideration by your representatives, sharing and refining our ideas.

This is Amnesty at its finest — we are a movement of bright, passionate people who have an ambitious Vision. Together we are committed to a world that is free of fear, hate and oppression.

We face a world where the politics of demonisation is on the rise. Whether it is Trump, Erdogan or Duterte, more and more politicians are wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats, and dehumanises entire groups of people. I know it’s the strength of our movement that will see us win in the face of many challenges.

The Rethinking Governance Working Group of the Board would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved over the last two years leading to this point. The thoughtful and constructive contributions from members at workshops, Annual General Meetings, roadshow events and through surveys helped ensure that our proposed governance represents the views of thousands of members from across Australia.

We will continue to provide updates on these developments over the coming months, as the board finalises its special resolutions for presentation to the AGM.

You can find all the information on the Rethinking Governance website by clicking here. If you have any questions, contact rethinkinggovernance@amnesty.org.au.