Thursday, November 13, 2008

Farewell Simone, Hello Shirley

Simone Chuah the amazing Volunteer and Resources Coordinator has left Amnesty in order to have a baby. Shirley Chen (the former office coordinator) is back at Amnesty in Simone's role.

That means that Deb and Shirley now share the role of Volunteer and Resources Coordinator (Deb: Mon, Tues, Wed. Shirley: Thurs, Fri).

I am sure you will all join me wishing Simone the best and welcoming Shirley.

Any questions or confusion please feel free to give me a call - 8396 7671


16 Days of Activism

Has your group got something planned for 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women? Would you be able to get your family, friends or colleagues to take action?

If you would like us to send you some materials and actions please call the action centre on 8396 7670 and ask for Shirley or Deb.

UDHR60 Celebrations

Do you need posters, 'passports for human rights', actions, materials, stall things, balloons, streamers, sparklers, etc for your 60th anniversary celebrations?

If yes, then call 83967670 and ask for Deb or Shirley.


National Board Meet and Greet - 28 Nov

Come Along everyone to our National Board, Staff and Activists Meet & Greet
Where: NSW Action Centre, 79 Myrtle St, Chippendale, 2008
Why: Get to know the Board, Staff and Activists of Amnesty International Australia
When: Friday 28th November 4.30pm – 6.00pm
Light Refreshments provided

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Let's Talk about Human Rights Lunch

Human Rights Act Talk by Katie Wood at the NSW Action Centre.

Wednesday October 29 in Chippendale OR Ring in on the phone.


Travelling Training

Does it annoy you that training things always happen in inner city Sydney?

Do you wish that a workshop or information session happened in your neighbourhood?

Well things are about to change.

The people who have been involved in recently running workshops on online/web workshops and on Economic. Social and Cultural Rights as well as some other Sydney-based Amnesty activists are ready and willing to take to the road/air and travel the training to you.

If you are interested in taking up this opportunity or someone else from your group would like to arrange this please get them to ring Jenny (NSW Community Campaigner) on 8396 7671.

60th Anniversary Local Events

Have let us know about your local event to celebrate the 60th Anniversary? If not please email with the details so that we can offer you help and assistance.

You will also need to submit an event proposal to the NSW Branch Committee. If you need help with this please email

So far we have indication of celebrations happening in:
Coffs Harbour
Central Coast
Pitt St, Sydney

And of course at Homebake and on 10 December evening in Paddington!

10 Dec Gala Dinner in Sydney - Keep it free

10 December this year is the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

To celebrate we will be holding an Amnesty International dinner at Paddington Town Hall.

It will be a great night and I hope all convenors, volunteers and activists can attend.

So put a note in your diary and stay tuned for more information!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Privacy Statement for inclusion on emails

Dear Group Convenors,

A recent Board meeting approved AIA's new privacy policy.

The Board also noted that all AIA Activist groups should include privacy statement information on their AIA email communications. You can read the privacy statement at

Below is the statement to appear at the end of emails:

"To find out more about our campaigns, how to get involved or information about Amnesty International's privacy policy please go to:"

If you have any questions please contact


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Action Group Web Pages

Convenors of groups,

Have you checked your group web page lately? The NSW Web Team volunteers have worked hard to get the NSW website over the to a new content management system and are now in the process of updating pages...

To ensure that the pages for groups are active and up to date we removed all group pages and have started replacing them as the convenor checks them and confirms the information on them.

So if you can't see your page at then contact the NSW Web team at

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Training

When: Saturday 18th October, 1pm - 3:00pm
Where: NSW Action Centre, Level 1, 79 Myrtle Street, Chippendale - entrance on Dangar Place

This workshop will look at key economic, social and cultural rights, where they come from and how they are supposed to work. The workshop will also entail an
explanation of how these relate to civil and political rights, reference to the campaigns Amnesty has worked on and a discussion of the AIA's engagement with ESC rights.

Make Poverty History Event in Sydney

When: Friday 17th
Where: Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, 6:30pm start
Amnesty International Australia has joined the Make Poverty History coalition and will be participating in Stand Up Against Poverty from 17 - 19 October.
Last year, 43.7 million people stood up to remind governments of the commitments they made to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals. This set a new Guinness record. Join the Make Poverty History Coalition
Make Poverty History presents the Australian premiere screening of ‘The End Of Poverty?’ at Chauvel Cinema, Paddington Town Hall. ‘The End of Poverty?’ documentary investigates the causes of poverty today and the origins of our modern system whereby wealthy nations exploit the poor. The film is narrated by Martin Sheen and features Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz, author/activist Susan George, Eric Toussaint, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, John Christensen and more. The screening event will also feature speeches by key campaigners and an official stand up action. Tickets $20/$15 concession. Check out the Make Poverty History Site for details:

Make Poverty History Action

Action to mark International day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17th).

Risk of forced evictions in Orissa, India
Local indigenous communities living in Orissa, India, are at risk of forced evictions after a Supreme Court decision to allow Sterlite India to mine for bauxite. Call on the Government of Orissa to implement a full consultation with the local affected community before any taking any decisions which could affect their livelihoods.

For more information about Make Poverty History visit

National Board Update

Overwhelming support for Vision 2014

On behalf of Amnesty International Australia (AIA) the National Board would like to express thanks to all those who participated in the recent consultation on AIA’s vision and human rights impact areas.

We received overwhelming support for the vision and proposed human rights impact areas. Close to 2000 activists, members, volunteers, human rights defenders and staff participated in the consultation and this input has been invaluable in aiding our discussions on the way forward for AIA.

One of the most encouraging findings was the alignment of views between the many and varied groups of respondents. We are very excited to see such support for the vision and priorities of our movement.

The National Board considered the consultation responses at its meeting this weekend and approved the Vision, Positioning Statements and Human Rights Impact Areas for AIA for 2009-2014.


Amnesty International is a global movement of people who campaign courageously for human rights for everyone.

By 2014 Amnesty International Australia will protect and defend the human rights of more people by:

• Inspiring 500,000 people every year to take action
• Positively influencing and informing key opinion formers and decision makers
• Being an inclusive, authoritative, relevant and bold organisation
• Playing a leading role in Amnesty International, particularly in the Asia Pacific region

Positioning Statements

We are a diverse and democratic movement of people who share fundamental global values – dignity, freedom, justice, equality and a fair go for all.

We are outraged by human rights abuses and create change by inspiring people around the world to take action.

We demand that governments and other decision-makers protect and respect human rights and we will hold them to account.

We are an international movement that speaks out with one voice without compromise or fear to help protect human rights.

We are a grass-roots organisation founded in 1961 - truly independent of government, business, religion or political groups.

We work for and with individuals - to give voice, to stand alongside, and to secure fundamental human rights for all.

We work collaboratively and in partnership with others to achieve shared human rights outcomes.

Human Rights Impact Areas 2009-2014

· Dignity – including Indigenous rights as well as international issues
· Stop Violence Against Women – includes working to secure Australia’s National Plan of Action, working with Indigenous women, and International work particularly in the Asia Pacific region
· Contribution to the Amnesty International movement – includes how we coordinate and communicate our contribution to the global Amnesty International movement in terms of financial contribution, people, intellectual property, democracy and participation, activism and human rights impact
· International emergencies –Crisis Response
· Individuals at risk
· Refugees and asylum seekers rights
· Human Rights Charter for Australia

The first four impact areas are the priority areas for 2009.

Where to from here

We now go straight into planning mode – developing strategic, engaging, inspiring and motivational campaigns that will create human rights impact and that will strengthen, grow and inspire the movement.

As this is the first time we have carried out a consultation on our vision in this way it was really pleasing to have so many people participate. We will continue to improve our consultation mechanisms.

Thank you for all the time and thought you put into replying to the survey and we will continue to keep you informed on progress on our Human Rights Impact Areas.

Best Wishes,

Nicole Bieske, National President
Jim Sharp, Vice President
Michael Butler, Secretary
Dawna Wright, Treasurer
Toni Matulick, ACT Branch President
Anthony Mitchell, NSW Branch President
Maree Klemm, QLD Branch President
Tracy Crisp, SA/NT Branch President
Perdita Sonntag, TAS Branch President
Russell Solomon, VIC Branch President
Caroline Wood, WA Branch President
Georgina Perry, Executive Member
Kate Cooper, Executive Member
Sheena Graham, Executive Member
Claire Mallinson, National Director

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nominations for the HREOC Human Rights Awards

The HREOC Human Rights Awards recognize the efforts and commitment of everyday Australians committed to defending Human Rights. There are 9 categories of awards including the Human Rights Medal, Young People's Human Rights Medal, Community (individual) Award, Community (ORganisation)Award as well as awards for human rights work in the fields of Law, Literature (non-fiction), Print Media, Television and Radio.

You can nominate yourself or others for these awards by visiting or by telephoning 02 9284 9618.

Nominations close on the 3rd of October.

NSW Training programs

The NSW Training program is kicking off tonight with the Website and online campaign training. See below for details of other training workshops over the next 2 months. Please rsvp for training workshops to

Tuesday 7th October - 6:00 – 7:30
Event organising and excel training

Amnesty International Activism training coordinator ‘Naomi Alexander’ will be delivering an event management workshop, joined by Sarah Fusco’ presenting a brief introduction to excel. All people who are organising an event to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights are strongly encouraged to come along. This workshop will build upon existing event coordination skills and consider how events can have a better human rights impact.

Saturday 18th October 11-2pm
Economic, social and cultural rights training
by Anoushka Perram (NSW BC & Convener of the Legal Network)
More details TBC RSVP Essential

Please note: confirmed details of training for the 21st of October and 5th of November will be published in the October Events newsletter and on the website.

International Day Against the Eradication of Poverty Friday 17th October

Amnesty International Australia has joined the Make Poverty History Coalition and will be participating in Stand Up Against Poverty from 17 - 19 October. Last year, 43.7 million people stood up to remind governments of the commitments they made to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals. This set a new Guinness World Record. Lets try and break that record. Please stay tuned for details regarding the major event in Sydney and a blog that will be posted on the National Website.

16 days and Lobbying around the National Plan of Action

With the Federal Government committing the creation of a National Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 16 days of Activism presents an important opportunity to get active in your community and influence change.

To mark the 16 days of activism we will be encouraging activists to participate in a strategic lobbying of their local MPs and hold events strategically within the electorates that we are lobbying. To prepare people for this process we will be running a short training night on how to engage with the process.

Please let us know if you have any specific connections with your local MP or an electorate in your area. Stay tuned for the action kit and more details of how you get involved!

World Day Against the Death Penalty Friday 10th October

World Day against the Death Penalty is approaching rapidly and there are lots of great actions people can do to get involved. This year our focus will be on Vietnam and Indonesia, so stay tuned for on-line actions. We have also just received a new death penalty campaign toolkit so please let us know if you need some of these for the day.

To mark the 10th of October the Anti-Death Penalty Network and activists from the NSW region will be meeting at the QVB (town hall end) from 12:30pm – 2:00pm to take part in a collective action. We will be laying out the flags of countries that still have the death penalty and asking people to sign actions on prisoners of conscience on death row in Vietnam and Indonesia. 136 down 60 to go! Join other activists to stand up against the death penalty. Pledge your participation by emailing or calling 8396 7670.

We are also asking all groups, networks and activists to help cover Sydney with Amnesty ‘Stop the executions’ posters. Please drop past the action centre and pick up some of these posters and tape if you are interested in helping out. Alternatively let us know ASAP if you need us to send them out in the mail.

Good News - U Win Tin

Amnesty International welcomes the release of at least seven prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, including U Win Tin who has been imprisoned for 19 years and was one of longest serving political prisoners in the country. Activists and local groups in NSW and across the country have worked continually on this case and its great to see all that hard work has had a powerful human rights impact.

With 21000 political prisoners remaining behind bars it is important to continue putting pressure on the Myanmar authorities. In the next week, two action postcards for political prisoners ‘Ma Khin Khin Leah’ and Ma Khin Khim Leh’. Contact the action centre if you would like some of these postcard actions.

Monday, August 25, 2008

NSW Legal Network Forum on

Check out:

Save the Date: NSW Student Conference - 20/21 September

NSW Student Conference
20 and 21 September 2008 at the NSW Action Centre in Chippendale.
To register email

Stop Violence Against Women Handprint Banners

Please send all banners collected as part of the Stop Violence Against Women campaign to the NSW Action centre. Attn: Jenny Leong.
We will be in touch soon about plans for the upcoming 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women.

National Board, Staff and Activists Meet and Greet - 5 Sept

Please join us at the NSW Action Centre in Chippendale and get to know the National Board, Staff and Activists of Amnesty International Australia.
Light Refreshments will be provided.
When: 5.30pm - 7pm, Friday 5th September
Where: NSW Action Centre (Level 1, 79 Myrtle St Chippendale)
To assist with catering please RSVP to

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Action Group and Events Photos

The new NSW Regional Website will be up and happening soon.

Send all your recent photos from events to with a short blurb so that they can get them ready for when the new site goes live!

Access to Urgent Action letter-writing materials online

Urgent Actions can be found via the online action centre at this address

It's good to bookmark this page if you are going to be looking for them on a regular basis. There is a comments section where activists/local groups/anyone can also say what they have been doing for these Urgent Action cases.

The Urgent Actions are checked daily (mon-fri) against updates from the International Secretariat to ensure they are current. It is the Australian version of the Urgent Action that goes up on the website, making it more user friendly for Australian activists with the postal addresses and salutations for diplomatic representatives in Australia, as well as those of the main targets of the action.The selection of Urgent Action reflects a geographical spread and AIA campaign priorities, where possible.

NSW Activism Team Meeting

6pm, 21 August 2008
In person at the NSW Action Centre or by phone

This meeting is an opportunity for our action group convenors, regular activists and volunteers to come together with each other, members of the NSW Branch Committee, the NSW Community Campaigner (Jenny) and the NSW Community Campaign Assistant (Ruby) to discuss what has been happening in the region, what is planned for the region and to share ideas, knowledge, information and tips.

This meeting will include:
- Report back from Action Group convenors about their group
- Report back from Community Campaigns team about other regional activities
- Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- An update on Amnesty International Planning

For information about how to phone in email

Amnesty International Pull Up Banners

Does your Action Group have a pull up banner?

If yes, please email Deb Taylor ( so that we can arrange to provide you with a new 'Global Identity Yellow' banner for it.

Those Action Groups that do not have a banner but would like one, stay tuned...banners are coming your way!

Action Group Annual Events

Dear Action Group Convenors,

We are trying to get together an calendar of events.

Please let us know what regular annual, monthly, weekly events your group holds so we can include them in our regional calendar.

Please email the following information to

Name of event:
Name of Action Group:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Hi All,

This is a new approach to the NSW Community Campaigner Update...let's try it for a while and see how it works for us.

Basically I will be posting to this blog regularly with information to support your work for Amnesty International defending human rights. 

Each post will be titled with a heading that is relevant to allow you to quickly access what information you need (and search it later if you need to check it again).

To ensure you are all keeping in touch with the blog I will send everyone on the NSW Community Campaigner Update list an email with a link to the blog each fortnight. Similarly, if you have a group list you can also include a link to the blog when you send your updates.

Finally, if you have no idea how to access the blog and don't understand what this is then please call me.

Thanks for your continued commitment to defending human rights and I hope you find the blog useful.