Human Rights and Advocacy Summit targets Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth

Indigenous Affairs, Media Releases article written on the 07 Feb 2014

Around 40 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community advocates will come together in Sydney from 10-14 February for a five-day intensive program to develop their skills and knowledge in human rights, indigenous rights and advocacy.

The summit, being organised by the Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) in partnership with Oxfam Australia, is targeted at 18-25 year-olds from across Australia who have demonstrated an existing commitment to rights and advocacy work in their communities.

Through a mix of presentations, case studies and role playing, participants will build their understanding of the international human rights framework to explore how specific human rights treaties, conventions and mechanisms can be applied to issues in their community.

Youth Program Coordinator Peter Nathan, from Oxfam Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Program (ATSIPP), said the course will bring together the next generation of community advocates to share experiences and equip them with the knowledge and skills to make a genuine difference.

“These young people have already shown a passion and commitment to addressing issues directly affecting their community,” said Mr. Nathan.

 “We want to take them to the next stage by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to articulate and bring about positive change but also to identify practical steps for implementing what they have learned when they return to their community or workplace.”

 Participants will work together to develop practical strategies and explore avenues to use existing international standards, including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to further the realisation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in Australia.

Patrick Earle, Executive Director of Diplomacy Training Program adds, “The program will have a focus on the obligations of the Australian government to respect, protect and fulfil rights, with participants having the opportunity to build their skills and confidence to engage with government to honour these obligations.”

Participants will also get the opportunity to hear the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advocates who have gone to the United Nations to speak-up on community concerns.

Using social media to get stories out and to build support networks will also be explored and practised during the week.

For interviews with course organisers or participants please contact John Lindsay, Oxfam Australia Media Unit on 03 9289 9246 or 0423 456 046 or