Inglis Clark Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
Just as many Tasmanians hold to Olegas Truchanas’ hope that ‘Tasmania can be a shining beacon in a dull, uniform and largely artificial world’, so many of us hope Tasmania can be a beacon of democracy and justice in a world darkened by authoritarianism and sunk in pessimism about the possibility of human progress.
About the projects
Tasmania has seen laws on its books to revoke national parks and flood Lake Pedder and the Franklin River, imprison men for simply loving one another, deny women the right to vote, and laws that seek to legitimise the dispossession of land of Tasmanian Aboriginal people. If the legal system or a particular law is wrong or not good enough, then it should be changed.
Like Charles Dickens’ character Mr Bumble, we say ‘the law is an ass’ sometimes…
The Inglis Clark Centre for Democracy and Human Rights, auspiced by OUTSIDE THE BOX / Earth Arts Rights, educates, lobbies and campaigns for better democratic and human rights standards, and teaches skills and supports the empowerment of others to do the same. The long-term goal is to create a physical home for the Centre in Hobart. While we work towards that goal, we are also running and involved in a number of democracy and human rights campaigns.
Andrew Inglis Clark is the obvious person to name the centre after. He was arguably the greatest reforming legislator in Australia’s colonial history and in all Tasmanian history. He was also the chief framer of the Commonwealth Constitution and an admired Supreme Court Judge. But beyond this, he was one of the fiercest and most effective advocates for democratic values and human rights in Australia’s history. His innovations in democratic governance and human rights have endured for over a century. So long as we work in Inglis Clark’s name we cannot fail, at least not for long.
How to campaign for positive reform in Tasmania – Workshop program and modules.
People lives can be deeply affected by laws and policies. They can protect us against harm, they can promote better systems and processes. They shape our lives and our communities. That’s why it’s so important that we learn how to persuade politicians and other government decision makers to do the right thing. They are the ones who have the power to change the laws and policies that affect us deeply.
The Change Matters workshop program comprises a number of stand-alone modules that can be delivered both in-person and online to develop the skills of the workshop participants to both participate in campaigns to achieve positive changes, and develop new campaigns around issues of concern.
The speaking UP speaking OUT and Pitch Perfect programs described below are both examples of these modules being delivered with specific groups. We have also delivered a combination of these modules in workshop programs for other groups, including Engender Equality and the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania (ATDC).
Speaking Up Speaking Out
Tasmania’s laws and attitudes on LGBTQIA+ issues have gone from worst to best. Hooray for that! But the pool of advocates and leaders has been small, jeopardising further progress towards inclusion and full equity. Sharing real-life experiences and stories about advocacy processes and outcomes, reporting and/or leadership is one of the most effective ways to ensure skills and confidence in these areas is passed through the LGBTQIA+ community and on to future generations.
Do you want to be an agent for change but need help finding your voice? speaking UP speaking OUT is about working with Tasmanians to build their skills and knowledge to enable them to be better advocates and leaders on LGBTQIA+ issues.
The project was being rolled out in four stages, each stage building on the one before. Stage 1 – A comprehensive survey designed to identify the needs and barriers to success. Stages 2 & 3 – Workshops across the state designed to develop skills and confidence. Stage 4 – Development and promotion of online video and written materials.
With extensive experience in delivering programs that provide skills and confidence around advocacy, reporting and leadership, speaking UP, speaking OUT is developed and delivered by Rodney Croome (Australian LGBTQIA+ rights activist and academic) and OUTSIDE THE BOX / Earth Arts Rights Robin Banks (lawyer and former Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner).
The project is a partnership of Equality Tasmania and the Inglis Clark Centre for Democracy and Human Rights. It is funded by the Tasmanian Government’s LGBTQIA+ Community Grants program.
Fear of public speaking can prevent you from taking risks to share your ideas, to speak about your life and your work, and to present your solutions to problems that affect you. This is particularly so for people with a disability who may already feel marginalised or unheard.
The Pitch Perfect project was a series of workshops for people with disability aimed at developing the skills and confidence of participants to use their personal stories to pitch ideas to create change.
Participants in this project have already identified increased confidence, new skills and understanding of systems and a sense of both their own empowerment and the capacity to work with others to achieve their empowerment.
Perfect Pitch workshops were developed and delivered by the Inglis Clark Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in partnership with Disability Voices Tasmania.
News of future similar workshops will be published in our newsletter and posted on social media.