Human Rights Defender – Australian Greens Senator, Kerry Nettle

9 Jul

Having personally heard former Greens Senator, Kerry Nettle, spoken at various campaigns and events in Sydney, I feel that her exit from the Parliament is a great loss to the House of Reviews. Nevertheless, as she herself, reminds us, the Greens have increased their seats from 4 to 5 in the Senate, which can only mean a good thing – a minor party having a greater say or holding the balance of power.

During her term, the Senator has touched on many issues, which, she argues, The Greens, seeks to represent. In her valedictory speech, she notes that these issues are often at the core of justice – issues ranging from protecting the dignity of asylum- seekers to rights of same-sex couples in Australia. I have also personally heard her spoken in rallies, voicing her sentiments against the Iraqi Occupation and the plight of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. No doubt, these wide- range of issues that she has seeked in creating public awareness and formally putting into motions or question in Parliament, has certainly lend a voice to the disprivileged.

Even though her term has ended, I am of the opinion that she will continue to engage in human rights work. As she spoke eloquently in her valedictory speech, ‘… social change does not happen in chambers like this; social change happens in the hearts and minds of people. It foments in workplaces and on the streets, and sometimes it makes it way in here. But I am going to go back out onto the streets now and I am going to feel confident that, with more Greens voices in here, our voice is going to be heard and we are going to see that social change occur’.

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