Championing Indigenous rights with the CIE Advisory Group

Amnesty is a proud grassroots movement – made of people just like you, dedicated to creating a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. As part of this movement, we all have a unique story to tell – what motivates us to get involved, and how do we each contribute to creating change?

Here Ainoa from Adelaide discusses her volunteering journey and how she champions Indigenous rights as part of the Community is Everything (CIE) Advisory group.

How did you get involved with Amnesty?

Activists at the CIE advisory group face to face meeting, May 2017. copy; Holly Fingland/AI
Activists at the CIE advisory group face to face meeting, May 2017. copy; Holly Fingland/AI

I applied for a volunteer role at the Adelaide Action Centre in May 2016 and I started as a community organising intern. Since then I have taken on other responsibilities as well; currently I’m also a member of the Community is Everything Advisory Group.

What’s the Community is Everything campaign about?

It’s focused on ending the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in detention. Considering that Indigenous children make up 1 in every 15 kids in Australia and that Indigenous children are 24 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous children, this is an incredibly important issue.  

What is the CIE Advisory group?

The CIE Advisory group is a working group of lead activists from the different states across Australia who help develop the activism strategy for the CIE campaign. We advise which plans work best with the different volunteer action groups across Australia, and report back on the action groups’ campaigning.

Tell us about a memorable event or accomplishment in your time volunteering?

To be able to discover, understand and participate in a new culture, particularly Aboriginal culture, is the most rewarding experience a person could ask for. Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week are special as they have given me the opportunity to be part of multiple events, spending time within the community and learning their traditions and history.

Any words of encouragement for others thinking about getting involved in Amnesty?

Walk into an action centre today! Don’t be afraid of getting out of your comfort zone. Amnesty is a wonderful organisation to work with – everyone is nice and welcoming, and you will feel part of the ‘famnesty’ quicker than you think. You will be able to develop your professional skills when participating in events, meetings or training sessions. And most of all you will be able to take action on human rights issues.

Want to connect with other activists working on Amnesty’s campaigns? Check out our discussion groups on Facebook.

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