We held our September board meeting last weekend, with Branch Presidents joining on Friday to have a combined meeting.
The Board approved an indicative list of our critical priority projects for Amnesty International Australia for 2018.
We will continue to prioritise our Community is Everything campaign and campaign for a “better plan” for the rights of refugees. AI Australia will participate in the global Brave campaign to protect human rights defenders and individuals at risk. We will stand with human rights defenders around the world through our Write for Rights campaign. As crises arise around the world we will advocate strongly for justice and aid.
We have an ambitious 2020 vision, and throughout 2018 we will prioritise ensuring we have the resources and people power available to reach our vision. This includes investing in a database that meets our complex needs as a membership-based organisation, investing in ensuring we have the financial and people resources to deliver on our goals, rethinking how we organise our governance and transitioning to a new membership model.
Rethinking our existing governance structures was a major focus for this board meeting. We examined possible solutions to some of our current challenges, and are looking forward to consulting with members and supporters in the lead up to the 2018 National AGM (NAGM). An update to all members informing them of our work around governance and inviting them to participate in the process will go out during the week of 2 October. If you aren’t a member you can sign up here.
The Board will be inviting Branch Committees for expressions of interest to host the 2018 National Annual General Meeting (for more information contact Simon Rumore at email@example.com). This is the key opportunity for members to discuss the future of our movement in Australia and around the world.
In response to a NAGM resolution to have a Human Rights Conference, the Board has decided that a one day Human Rights Conference will take place in 2019 as part of our NAGM.
The board was proud to adopt a statement in relation to the date of Australia Day where we recognised that:
“The 26th January is and will always be an important day for Australia — but there are better days to celebrate this nation. In solidarity with the call of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and groups, Amnesty International Australia supports Australia Day being held on a day other than 26 January so that all Australians can celebrate together.”
You can read the statement in full below.
On Friday 22 September, Board members were joined by the Branch Presidents from each of our Branches. We discussed the role of governance leadership in delivering on our Reconciliation Action Plan, the rethinking governance project, the key outcomes of the International Council Meeting and many other things.
This was a huge three-day meeting for Board members, and two days for Branch Presidents.
I’d like to thank these volunteers who take on significant responsibility for making our member-led movement work. Each and every one of our Board members and Branch Presidents live our values every day; working to empower our members and stakeholders, demonstrating great persistence in the fight for human rights, addressing the big issues with courage, and showing great integrity in all that they do.
As always, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to your local Regional Representative.
Thank you for your dedication to fighting for a world free of human rights abuses.
National Board President
Change the date position statement
The anniversary of British colonisation of Australia on the 26th January has been formally marked as Australia Day since 1994, but celebrations and protests on that date go back to the 1800s.
Since colonisation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been subjected to violence including through the frontier wars and government policies that created harm including the removal of children, the removal of people from their ancestral lands, slavery and the denial of self-determination.
The 26th January is and will always be an important day for Australia – but there are better days to celebrate this nation. In solidarity with the call of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and groups, Amnesty International Australia supports Australia Day being held on a day other than 26 January so that all Australians can celebrate together.
Amnesty International calls on the Australian Government to start a consultation process to move towards a new date for Australia Day – one which is inclusive of all Australians and recognises the survival and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.