ATConnect All >

Amnesty International Schools’ Conference

Recently, College Captain Jontay Gothachalkenin, was honoured to be invited to speak at the annual Schools’ Amnesty International Conference hosted by Brisbane Boys’ College. Over 200 hundred students from seven schools attended the conference with the main theme being Indigenous human rights.

The conference comprised a mixture of plenary sessions – where senior students and keynote guest speakers addressed everyone – and breakout interactive workshops, which were run by young adult Amnesty volunteers.

Jontay shared some of his life story as an Indigenous young man and educated everyone on the stolen generation and the history of the Aurukun community. Year 11 student Gracie, from All Hallows’ School delivered an impassioned talk on Gender Equality and BBC’s Vice Captain of Amnesty, Lachlan, challenged all the students to make a commitment to be brave defenders of human rights.

Keynote speaker Maggie Munn, past Schools’ National Coordinator for Amnesty International Australia and Youth Ambassador for UNICEF and Amnesty International Australia’s Indigenous Rights Campaigner enlightened the group further on human rights. Following her was Thomas Mayor, an author and gifted public speaker, who has tirelessly advocated for the proposals of the Uluru Statement from the Heart since 2017.

Students had the opportunity to casually engage with one another, and this was followed by a moving statement delivered about the over one million current Prisoners of Conscience in the world. Candles were then lit, and a Minutes Silence was held to show solidarity.

Everyone left the conference inspired and empowered to be more compassionate beacons of hope and to never shy away from shining a light on darkness and injustice wherever they encounter it.

Thank you to Mr Alan Cheel, teacher at BBC and MIC of Amnesty International Interschool Club, for his generosity of spirit and meticulous coordination of this remarkable event.

Mr Alan Cheel