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Party for Human Rights

Stuck for entertainment this weekend as week six rolls to a close and assignment due dates loom? Why not head on down to the Polish Club and join the Party for Human Rights?

The event, hosted by Amnesty Tasmania, promises to be an entertaining evening. The event will feature live music, excellent food, and a silent auction. Rumor has it that – among the many surprises the evening has in store – there may even be a flash-mob.

Amnesty Tasmania is the local arm of the global Human Rights organisation, Amnesty International. The group is hosting the ‘Party for Human Rights’ in order to support Amnesty’s research into human rights abuses in detention centres – both in Australia and offshore –  and to continue to support local grassroots activism.

The party will be held on Saturday at the Polish Club, Newtown, from 19:30–23:30. Live entertainment will feature performances from the Reporters, Paywand and Jed Appleton, among other local bands. Activities will include a silent auction, but with a twist: all items to be auctioned off will be skills, such as car washing, lawn mowing or baked goods. One item already confirmed for the auction is a ‘walk on country’ with Rodney Dillon – a member of the local indigenous community, and the national Indigenous Advisor for Amnesty – on Bruny Island. And for those keen to check out what else Amnesty Tasmania has to offer, further information about future events –  including the Palm Sunday rally for refugees and the statewide human rights conference – and how to get involved will be available on the night.

The UTas Amnesty group, recently affiliated with the TUU, has been active on campus for over 25 years. Their goal is to raise awareness of human rights issues, and to campaign against the abuse of human rights locally, nationally and internationally. The group often runs stalls and advertises petitions around campus to raise awareness of their current campaigns.

Oliver Hovenden has a long history with Amnesty, first becoming involved with the group at age 14. When he was 16, he joined the board of Amnesty Tasmania, and now presides as President of the UTas Amnesty society.

“I’m passionate about Amnesty because I believe that, coming from Australia, we live very privileged lives. So, it is incredibly important to fight for injustices, and to use our voices – especially when others aren’t able to – to speak up against what we believe is wrong in the world,” Oliver explains.” I think Amnesty is important because it helps raise awareness of issues that many people don’t hear about and can actively bring about change.”

Oliver has witnessed first-hand the impact the actions taken have had, when in February this year, George Brandis, Attorney General, pledged to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, designed to ensure an independent body would monitor Australian detention centres to prevent abuse or torture. This had been the main focus of the Amnesty group on campus in 2016.

Oliver, and the Amnesty Tasmania group, hope that this event will enable them to continue to see successes in the area of human rights, such as this one. It will be a great night out for a great cause, so why not join Amnesty Tasmania this Saturday, and Party for Human Rights?

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