5 Australian Orgs Working Toward A Brighter Future
Like anywhere else, Oceania has plenty of sources of conflict, including destruction of natural resources, racial strife, economic inequality, and government oppression. Fortunately, there are many groups dedicated to rectifying these problems. In no particular order, here are some organizations that are putting in their best efforts to improve life for people in Australia and beyond.
#1 in our overview is the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine, or CJPP. This Sydney-based advocacy group campaigns for the recognition of Palestinian statehood, and an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the blockade of Gaza. The group works to raise consciousness of these issues throughout Australia.
CJPP organizes events with expert speakers and supports the initiatives of other pro-Palestine advocacy groups in Australia. The nonprofit calls for the dismantlement of the Israeli West Bank barrier, which the organization describes as an "Apartheid Wall." It also supports BDS, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign, which attempts to pressure the government of Israel to treat Palestinians as equals.
Coming in at #2 is the Sydney Peace Foundation. SPF showcases solutions that prove that peace with justice is possible, and inspires and empowers people from all walks of life to create that reality in their lives and communities. The group seeks to encourage people in Australia and abroad to think about nonviolent alternatives to solving real-world problems.
Every year, the Foundation awards the Sydney Peace Prize for outstanding achievement in the promotion of global justice, human rights, and nonviolence. Past recipients have included the MeToo movement, activist Patrick Dodson, writer Naomi Klein, rock band Midnight Oil, and professors Joseph Stiglitz and Noam Chomsky.
#3 on our list is GetUp Australia, a progressive group based in Sydney that facilitates community organizing and online activism. GetUp campaigns encourage people to make their voices heard by speaking out on social media, signing digital petitions, emailing and calling elected officials, and rallying. The group also runs commercials on television.
GetUp Australia gets involved in a myriad of issues, including fighting for a safe and healthy climate, protecting the Great Barrier Reef, holding government figures accountable, and standing up to pollution. It also fights for important sociopolitical issues like defending refugees and asylum seekers, banning neo-Nazi symbols, and achieving marriage equality for gays and lesbians.
Occupying the #4 spot is Jubilee Australia, which strives to ensure Australia is a good neighbor to the people of Oceania, and to the world. Jubilee advocates for economic justice for Indigenous communities in the Asia-Pacific region, with an emphasis on using research as a tool to hold corporations and government agencies accountable.
The organization has come out against states using aid money or other policy levers to impose development on poor, resource-rich countries. Jubilee believes relations between groups should be grounded in community consent and sustainability. When it sees that the interests of the Australian public are not being served, the organization seeks to draw these facts to the attention of politicians, the media, and supporters.
Finishing up the list at #5 is the Sydney-based New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties. Since 1963, it has sought to safeguard people's rights by monitoring and fighting against the abuse of power by government, its agencies, and others. Through public policy, it becomes involved with issues such as privacy, wars, the right to protest, climate change, misleading political advertising, and the militarization of the police.
The NSWCCL has also been involved in championing the rights of Indigenous communities in Oceania, honoring prominent whistleblowers like Julian Assange, and attempting to reform the Australian justice system to be less punitive. Further, it advocates for policy reforms that decrease corruption and improve equal protection under the law.