Wednesday, January 27, 2010

First NSW Catch up for 2010!

The next NSW Catch up is on Wednesday 24th February at the NSW Action Centre. The 'Catch Up' will go from 6:30- 8pm. The Catch up will be a great chance to learn about new AIA campaigns and startegy, feedback from your group and have a catch up with others from the NSW region. Light food and drinks will be provided.

Please RSVP to if you are able to attend in person or ring in.

Plese check the NSW Blog in the next week or two for more details & the phone pin.

International Womens Day 2010

International Women's Day is on Monday the 8th of March. This year our focus with be the PNG case study. We will be using the same resources from 16 Days of Activism - the PNG petition, flyer and posters.

If you would like copies of the PNG petition , materials or ideas of what you can do for for International Women's Day please contact us and let us know.
If you are planning anything for International Womens Day this year please advise Courtney paye on We can then add your event to our list of events for IWD taking place around Australia.

In Sydney we will be linking in International Womens Development Agency and celebrating the strength of women working together to prevent violenece and defend human rights in the Pacific. For more information on this contact the NSW SVAW Group on

Ruby Johnson - leave arrangements

Ruby will be on annual leave in February and March of this year to do some human rights work with AI Mexico and a smaller human rights NGO that works with indigenous Mayan women.

Courtney Payne will be acting as the Community Campaigner during the period from Monday 15th of February until the Monday 22nd March. Courtney will be in the office in the weeks outside this period - 1st Feb until 12th Feb and 23rd - 31st March however will be working part-time (Tuesday - Thursday) in the Community Campaigns Assistant position. We will obviously be running at a lesser staffing capacity during the weeks on either side of Courtney acting in the Community Campaigner role. If you have any questions about this please contact Ruby in the next few days or as of Tuesday 2nd of Feb contact Courtney Paye on

Courtney Payne
ph: +61 8396 7616
fax: +61 8396 7663
Mobile: 0431 481 038

I look forwad to catching up with you all when I am back at the end of March!

Politics in the Pub: Asylum Seekers

Politics in the Pub (PIP) at Sydney's Gaelic Club each Friday night has now been going for about 20 years and was established by some wonderful life-long activists such as Professor Stuart Rees (the legendary former director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, the Sydney Peace Foundation and other notable social justice institutions) and Win Childs (another living legend of the activist world).

On Friday night 5 February at PIP, the topic will be asylum seekers. On behalf of the PIP Organising Committee I recently approached our outstanding Refugee Team Convenor Steve Cornelius to be one of the speakers and he has very kindly agreed to attend and speak. Steve, as you would be aware, is a truly amazing and award-winning refugee advocate and human rights campaigner. His presence as a keynote speaker at this forum will make the evening a huge success. Also speaking will be an advocate from A Just Australia.

I hope some of you can make it and that if you have not been to PIP before you will become yet another regular attendee at this truly excellent part of the Sydney activist calendar.

2010 will be a great year for progressing the observance by all governments of the human rights of all refugees and asylum seekers in the world.

Indigenous Rights Forum

Amnesty International's Pitt Street Action Group is holding a forum on Indigenous rights and the NT Intervention as part of Amnesty International’s global ‘Demand Dignity’ Campaign.

Come and hear Rodney Dillon, Indigenous Rights Campaigner for Amnesty International Australia, speak about human rights issues in indigenous communities and the NT intervention.

Ask your questions, have your say and get involved in the campaign.

Date: Tuesday 9 February 2010
Place: Pitt Street Uniting Church
264 Pitt Street Sydney
(between Park Street and Bathurst Street)
Time: 6.00 pm for a 6.30 pm start.

Light refreshments and snacks from 6.00 pm.
All welcome.
To help with catering, an RSVP would be appreciated:
Please contact Liz Watson:

Amnesty at Mardi Gras 2010

The Mardi Gras Parade will be held this year on Saturday February 27. Our Network has been planning for Mardi Gras since late last year, and this year, in line with the overall Parade theme of " Mardi Gras' History of the World ," the focus of our float is "Make Abuse History". The float will focus on what we can do as individuals and as an organization to make this a reality.

If you would like to register for our float in the Parade registrations are now open; please email Ushan ( ) and he will lead you through the process. Registration is $30 and $20 concession which includes an Amnesty TShirt to wear in the Parade. I encourage you to register as early as possible as New Mardi Gras have capped our numbers to 200 marchers this year and last year we had around 210 marchers; register early to avoid missing out! We welcome *all* people who support the ideals of our Network, i.e. to fight to end the persecution of LGBTQI people on the basis of their sexuality or gender, to join us, so invite all your friends, next door neighbours, mothers, fathers, partners, exes, and work colleagues to register: the more the merrier.

Also, keep the below important dates free:
Sunday February 21. Fair Day. As usual we will be running a stall there. Please come along and visit us and if you'd like to volunteer to help us out on the day by interesting people in signing our petitions or taking Mardi Gras Parade registrations please let me know by return email what times you could help out. We are looking for volunteers to be on the stall between 10am and 6pm. If you could do a 2 hour shift that would be preferred, but any amount of time you can offer is welcome.
Tuesday February 23. Pre-Mardi Gras Party. We will hold this at the AI NSW Action (Level 1, 79 Myrtle St Chippendale) Centre where we hold our regular meetings from 6.30pm-8.30pm. This night will be a chance to meet other Parade participants and relive the fun we had at last year's Parade.

If you have any questions at all about the above please reply by return email to , except for registration requests which are to be emailed to Ushan at
NOTE: We welcome early registration but if for some reason you are unable to do this you will be able to register right up to and including the day of the Parade.

Greg Murrie for Amnesty International NSW LGBTQI Network

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Indigenous Rights - Yabun Festival

Victoria Park, Broadway, Sydney
Tuesday 26th January 2010

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Survival, Advancing their Human Rights
by taking positive action in 2010

This event provides Amnesty members an opportunity to celebrate the culture and history of the Indigenous Peoples of Australia. You are invited to join with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to reflect on their continuing connection to their traditional lands for over 50,000 years and to acknowledge their survival through the process of colonisation in the last 222 years.

Amnesty members will gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the issues facing Indigenous peoples in Australia today and play your part in providing recognition of their rights as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to their lands, water, culture and history by being actively engaged in a process of change within Australian society.
Amnesty International Australia are honoured to be sponsoring the “Speaking Out Tent” at this years festival which is a major yearly attraction at Yabun. You are invited to attend the programme of events;

To view the full Yabun Festival Program please visit the Gadigal website at


Those of you in contact with Equipo Indignacion may have heard already that Ricardo was released on New Year's Eve, 31st December, 2009.

After the 5 November hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights where the injustice that Ricardo suffered was exposed by Mexican human rights organisations such as Equipo Indignacion, the federal and state government agreed to a friendly settlement with Don Ricardo and his representatives, resulting in his release from prison (the terms of which are not publicly available yet).
Here is the link to the good news story on the IS website:
AI's campaigning lead for Ricardo came from AIA

On the 16 December, the International Secretariat posted an internal update to Ricardo's case with information about the 5 November hearing. In the update, they acknowledged the leading work you have been doing. Here is the bit where they talk about AIA:

"...After following closely what happened at the Commission, AI Australia took the initiative to write to the federal government official in question. In his response, he denied that Ricardo Ucan was given an unfair trial, but said "it is important to at look ways (sic) to reach a friendly settlement and I think there are margins for exploring it".

Any settlement will need to be agreed with Ricardo Ucan and his lawyers, but this gives us hope that a solution is in sight.

Face to Face Locations

Sorry this is a little late!! F2F locations for the upcoming days will be:

Thursday 14th January: Lismore - Parramatta
Friday 15th January: Lismore - Wynyard
Saturday 16th January: Casino