Perth activists put on a show at their 2017 annual solidarity dinner
Union Aid Abroad APHEDA member and activist, Ruth Elilis, was a key organiser of the 2017 Perth APHEDA Dinner. Here’s Ruth’s overview of another successful night of Global Solidarity.
The 2017 Perth APHEDA fundraising dinner was an evening that demonstrates the importance of international solidarity and why I and members of the WA Union Aid Abroad Activist Group are actively involved in keeping Helen McCue’s vision alive.
Helen McCue believed Australians could share their skills, knowledge and compassion through our unions and show our support through practical international solidarity. This idea is still relevant today.
International solidarity was particularly significant at the Perth APHEDA dinner as our guest speaker was Wai Wai Nu – a Rohingya human rights advocate from Myanmar. The urgency of her moving call for solidarity and action was driven by the very real suffering of her community and nation where years of military dictatorship, isolation and religious intolerance has led to the worst humanitarian crisis in modern Asian history. Wai Wai Nu told us that social change begins with capacity development of the community. This is the very focus of Union Aid Abroad APHEDA’s projects.
Against the backdrop of the Perth Zoo, 110 people participated in some competitive and occasional raucous auctioneering, thanks to the entertaining skills of Steve McCartney, President of Unions WA and Father Chris Bedding.
What brings us together is a shared vision and values about how we want to live our lives and what country and world we want to live in – a world of growing inequality. What sustains us is the achievements of APHEDA projects which give hope and meaning. To continue this work, we raised more than $8,400. Importantly, at least 17 new members joined us thanks to the dinner and the hardworking efforts of WA activists efforts, with the support of many unions.
A special thanks goes to UnionsWA for their continued commitment and support as well as to the donors and sponsors of prizes and of course the WA Union Aid Abroad activist group.