DEMOCRACY IN ACTION
Amnesty International is a worldwide organisation based on voluntary membership. Amnesty International consists of national branches (sections and structures), international networks, affiliated groups and international members.
Amnesty International Australia is a Section of Amnesty International and 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.
The National Board comprises seven elected directors and up to two additional co-opted directors. Directors are elected for terms of three years in rotation. The Board is responsible for the overall running of Amnesty International Australia. Read our Board Charter 2022 and National Board Attributes Statement 2022.
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.
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. However, in order to be successful, each GMV candidate must receive a minimum of five votes. This is not a requirement for ALC candidates.
The Activism Forum is an informal meeting held at least every two years for members to feed into campaigns, activism strategies and priorities.
Getting involved in shaping the direction of Amnesty International Australia
There are different ways in which you can get involved in shaping the direction of Amnesty International Australia. Find out how!
Amnesty International Statute
Amnesty International Australia is a Section in the Amnesty International movement, which is governed by the Amnesty International Statute. The movement's strategic direction and other governance processes are set by the Global Assembly.
Amnesty International’s (AI) purpose and its formal accountability is set out in its Statute.
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.
How to engage with Amnesty International global governance
From time to time, Amnesty International Australia members are invited to nominate for international positions. The term international position refers to any role in Amnesty International that is the subject of election or appointment by the Global Assembly, the Regional Forum, or the International Board, or for appointment by the Secretary-General if the role is advertised and nominations sought from sections and structures.
Opportunities are emailed to members and advertised on our volunteer page. Recruitment is undertaken by Amnesty International Australia’s International Nominations Committee, who then makes recommendations to the National Board. The recommendations for the positions of global assembly delegate and global assembly youth delegate are tabled at the Annual General Meeting for a vote.
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.
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).