On February 11-12, DTP and STARTTS facilitated a two-day human rights advocacy training workshop with 27 refugee and migrant community leaders in Sydney, Australia. The two-day workshop included sessions on human rights, lobbying, advocacy and media skills. Trainers included Nicholas Stewart, Lynda Voltz MP, Henry Zwartz, and Dr Atem Dau Atem.
Uyghur, Tamil, Khmer, Assyrian, Karen and other communities were represented. Their concerns focused on issues facing their communities in Australia, including refugee status, skills recognition and access to education and health services, as well as issues in their countries of origin where their communities face political repression, authoritarian governments, and in some cases are at risk of genocide.
Program content included knowledge of how local, state and federal levels of government work in Australia, how to build strategies, and how to be effective in advocacy strategies and activities, including media work. The importance of of relationship building and “peoples’ diplomacy” were emphasised. The sense of solidarity between different communities was very strong.
“The training was exactly what our community needs to learn. We’re passionate with the human rights, but sometimes we feel our voice isn’t heard or didn’t deliver.”
DTP and STARTTS would like to acknowledge the efforts and commitment of DTP’s Mubashar Hasan and STARTTS’ Loan Bui who worked so hard to make the program possible and successful.