Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A number of Amnesty International Australia’s volunteers came together on Monday (May 10) for the Volunteer Week Lunch as part of the National Volunteer Week 2010. Amnesty International Australia’s National Director Claire Mallinson thanked volunteers for their support and emphasised their indispensable role in helping people in Australia and around the world cliam rights.

Volunteers were given Thank you badges, designed by Edem Badu, and Fair Trade chocolates, at the lunch organised at the Sydney office in recognition of their efforts.Discussing current issues and campaigns that AIA and volunteers have been involved in, Mallison spoke about the Australian government’s catastrophic Northern Territory intervention and the recent freeze on asylum seekers’ applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

She also outlined the successes of previous and ongoing campaigns, with the support of volunteers, like rallying for the freedom of prisoners of conscience. One such example is the story of Ratan Gazmare from Bhutan, who had been imprisoned. With the help of AIA and volunteers, he is now living in Adelaide with his family. Photographs of indigenous Australians, victims of the Northern Territory intervention, the Refugee Rally that took place on May 8 at Bondi beach were also circulated.

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