Human Rights Forum with Mackellar Candidates
On Tuesday 14th June our church combined with Avalon Amnesty Group to hold a Forum to which all candidates for election in our area were invited. Some candidates did not reply and some were unable to attend. The aim was to discuss and clarify their policies on Human Rights Issues. We also hoped that our discussion would prove to the candidates that such rights are important and that Australia needs to do better in observing and working towards achieving them.
We expected 3 candidates to attend. Mike Hall (Greens) Rhonda Funnell (Labour) and Julie Hegarty (Independant). Sadly Rhonda could not come because of a death in the family. However she sent answers to the questions which were read out by the Chair – Amnesty Convenor Gerd Hollander.
The audience were interested in the questions and the answers. Mike and Julie gave importance to the subject and we were pleased that they take seriously our concerns about the cruel treatment of Asylum Seekers, Indigenous incarceration,the need for marriage equality, legal obligations under Arms Trade Treaty, the new anti-protest laws, and our need to advocate against the death penalty.
Subsequent to hearing answers to the formal questions the audience were keen to ask informal questions on human rights subjects and other subjects also,
Rev.Mary and church members put on a great meal for everyone after the discussion and this was really enjoyed, and gave the opportunity for more informal talking about the subjects.
Thank you Avalon Baptist Church for this event. It was a really practical lesson in how to do democracy!