Activists hound for a watchdog

Support: Fowler MP Chris Hayes signed the pledge to support increased access to justice for women in mining affected communities.
Support: Fowler MP Chris Hayes signed the pledge to support increased access to justice for women in mining affected communities.

They were there to hound the corporate cats to call for a human rights watchdog.

They even brought real dogs to Parliament House to meet with politicians as part of their quest to advocate for economic and climate justice for women.

Meet Monique Dam, Sarah Morris and Sarah Dutton –  members of a local ActionAid group who want to create change.

The trio’s trip to Canberra was part of a national campaign launched by ActionAid Australia to establish a human rights watchdog in Australia to uphold women’s rights.

They met with advisers for Blaxland MP Jason Clare and Fowler MP Chris Hayes. Mr Hayes signed the pledge to support increased access to justice for women in mining affected communities

Hounding change: A group of activists from south-west Sydney recently travelled to Canberra to meet with politicians and call for a human rights watchdog.

Hounding change: A group of activists from south-west Sydney recently travelled to Canberra to meet with politicians and call for a human rights watchdog.

“I have been one of the initial and continuing White Ribbon Ambassadors and have spoken regularly in both the federal parliament and throughout our community about the scourge of domestic violence against women and children,” Mr Hayes told the Champion.

“I am appalled at the current statistics that one in three women are likely to experience violence at the hands of a partner, or former partner, and I certainly pledge to do everything I can to make a difference for the better for women and children in my community.”

The trio have been actively building their local ActionAid group and recently held a fundraiser stall at the Fairfield Museum. It follows on from them hosting community talks on climate justice for Youth Week and a ‘Activism over Lunch’ event to discuss future activities and actions.

They have also  collaborated with other local organisations, such as the Sydney Alliance’s Voices for Power project and the Youth Co-Lab to organise and deliver  community events. 

“We can achieve so much if we work together to ask for the changes we want – such as a human rights watchdog. We felt listened to and empowered,” Ms Dam said.

The group meets monthly at rotating locations in Cabramatta, Parramatta and Bankstown. 

  • To find out more about the group and events contact southwestsyd.actionaid@outlook.com.