Democracy in action
Amnesty International is a worldwide organisation based on voluntary membership. We consist of national branches (sections and structures), international networks, affiliated groups and international members. Amnesty International Australia is governed by a member-elected National Board. As our highest-decision making body, the National Board provides governance, leadership and stewardship as part of a global movement of human rights defenders. It ensures that our global vision, mission and plans, as well as any decisions made at the Global Assembly (international AGM) and Annual General Meetings are implemented in Australia. Amnesty International is a worldwide organisation based on voluntary membership. We consist of national branches (sections and structures), international networks, affiliated groups and international members. Here in Australia, our members are linked to a region, loosely based on state and territory lines and are headed up by Activism Leadership Committees. Last year we introduced some exciting changes to our democratic processes to amplify the voices of our members. Now there are more ways you can get involved in shaping the direction of Amnesty International Australia. Find out how!
Currently, seven of the 14 directors of the National Board are elected at Amnesty International Australia’s National Annual General Meeting: the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and three directors. The remaining directors are called Regional Representatives, and are elected at Branch Annual General Meetings (BAGMs). The Board appoints the National Director who is the Chief Executive Officer responsible for the operations of Amnesty International Australia. Read our Board Charter June 2019. In October 2019, we will change the size of our Board from 14 to 7. All 7 directors will be elected at the AGM. No BAGMs will be held in 2019.
WHO FINANCES AMNESTY’S WORK?
The overwhelming majority of our income comes from individuals like you, and allows us to maintain full independence from any governments, political ideologies, economic interests and religions. We accept support only from businesses that have been carefully vetted.
Amnesty International Australia’s constitution is its foundational document. It contains our purposes, our relationship with the international movement and details on our governance structures and processes.
Evaluating and reporting on our work, and continually improving how we operate is key to Amnesty’s success. Below is a quick outline of our our governance structures and processes established by our members, Board and staff to improve how we function as an organisation. Amnesty International Australia is a Section of Amnesty International.
Amnesty International’s statute
Amnesty International’s (AI) purpose and its formal accountability is set out in its Statute. Read the full Statute on amnesty.org. THE INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT Amnesty International’s International Secretariat is responsible for the majority of the organisation’s research and leads our campaigning work. It also coordinates our international governance processes. The International Secretariat (IS) is responsible for:
- Conducting research and reporting
- Ensuring Amnesty International (AI) speaks with one voice globally about the whole range of human rights themes and situations and their impact on people and communities
- Providing expert legal analysis of our research data, forming the basis of expert lobbying of international government organisations
- Providing endorsed materials to sections for campaigning
- Monitoring AI’s financial health
- Supporting and maintaining systems required to ensure that AI is ready to serve 24 hours a day
To find out more about how the IS is run, including Amnesty International’s Statute, INGO Charter and Strategic Plan, visit www.amnesty.org
Global Assembly (GA)
The Global Assembly is Amnesty International’s highest decision-making body and a significant element of our democracy in action.
Every year, our GA brings together representatives, members and staff from Amnesty International sections and structures across the world to discuss and agree on our future direction and work.
Amnesty International Australia Governance
In 2018, Amnesty International Australia made significant changes to its governance structures and processes. It moved to a model which amplifies the voices of our membership by increasing the number of members who can vote at the AGM and established a forum at which members can exchange ideas and strategies for our work.
Activism Leadership Committees Amnesty International Australia is divided into 7 regions, loosely based on state and territory lines. Every member of Amnesty International Australia is linked to a region, based on their postcode of residence. Each region is led by an Activism Leadership Committee (formerly known as ‘Branch Committees’) – or ALC – whose members are elected by the members linked to that region. General Meeting Voters Each region elects those members who will vote at the Annual General Meeting. The number of General Meeting Voters (GMVs) depends on the number of members in that region. They are elected at the same time as the ALC. Activism Forum The Activism Forum is an informal meeting held at least every 2 years for members to feed into campaigns, activism strategies and priorities.
Our reconciliation strategy
Our vision for reconciliation is of an inclusive Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples thrive and the wider community has a deeper understanding and respect for the Peoples whose land we live on.
This is an Australia where the injustices of the past and extraordinary resilience and courage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is acknowledged, where all Peoples are reconciled and all human rights are upheld. Being an organisation that campaigns internationally to protect and promote everyone’s human rights, we acknowledge our responsibility to be leaders in achieving reconciliation and social justice in Australia. Principles for a partnership-centered approach to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities In our Indigenous campaigning, Amnesty International Australia is committed to a partnership-centred approach with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations. We champion Indigenous-led programs and initiatives, which are key to empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our method of working for Indigenous rights is based on a set of principles developed by a consortium of agencies including Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APONT), National Congress and Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). Read more about Reconciliation at Amnesty International Australia
Amnesty International’s 2020 Council
The 2020 Council is a forum that brings together leaders in business, philanthropy and the arts to increase Amnesty International's visibility in Australia and raise funds to support our work.