Anti-Police Discrimination Campaigner to Visit US
9 May 2015 at 2:08 pm
A leading campaigner against racial discrimination by Victoria Police is one of three community leaders who will visit the US on a study tour of Not for Profit and advocacy organisations.
Tamar Hopkins, founder of the Police Accountability Project, along with Tanya Hosch from the Recognise campaign and Brendan Sydes from Environmental Justice Australia (EJA), has been awarded a spot on the Australian Progress 2015 US Study Tour in July.
Hopkins, Principal Solicitor at the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre, has worked alongside young African-Australian men in inner Melbourne and was a driving participant in the unprecedented Haile-Michael v Konstantinidis Federal Court racial profiling claim against Victoria Police.
The case led to a commitment from Victoria Police to stamp out racial profiling.
Hopkins said she hoped to learn valuable lessons from her trip to the US that she could implement in Australia.
“The fight for justice against police brutality and racism is international. Policing systems around the world, and especially in the US, are struggling to shake off racism,” Hopkins said.
“This is a great opportunity to bring back lessons from campaigns in the US to eliminate racism in policing.”
Brendan Sydes, CEO of EJA, led a transformation in the practice of environmental law and will study climate change and community activism in the US.
“The study tour will be an intense immersion in new ideas and it is timely, as we are on the cusp of a radical transformation in public interest lawyering in Australia. I’m really looking forward to studying how climate change got back on the policy agenda in the US,” Sydes said.
Tanya Hosch, Joint Campaign Director at Recognise, is leading a campaign to achieve constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“I feel privileged to be given this opportunity to enhance my campaign experience to deal with the racial discrimination in Australia’s founding document,” Hosch said.
My goal is to take the knowledge that will be gained and invest it in the nation building activity that constitutional change is.”
Chair of the Reichstein Foundation, Jill Reichstein, said all three leaders were worthy recipients of the scholarship.
“All of these strong community advocates are working on difficult and urgent issues: policing, environmental sustainability and Indigenous rights. We wish them well on their study tour,” Reichstein said.