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news 23.05.2017 Words:Peldon Tenzin
Photography: Archie Chew

Shoutout: Amps Not Camps

This is a shoutout to The ANU Refugee Action Committee, who are an activist group committed to pressuring the government to end its inhumane offshore detention policies. They believe that there are offshore detention alternatives that are more economically, legally and most importantly humanely viable. With Amps Not Camps II just around the corner, read on to find out how the whole group came to be.


Tell us a bit about yourself and your team’s backgrounds.

My name is Gabi Meek and I’m a 21 year old student at the ANU. Studying Development and International Relations, I have always struggled to visualise what my strengths are and how they could be practically used in a social justice sphere.

Tell us about Amps Not Camps and what inspired you to get started.

A large part of my time in Canberra has been spent listening to live music and drinking terrible house reds in bars and garages alike. So when the opportunity to combine this past time of mine with refugee rights advocacy came up, I was stoked.

Luckily this opportunity was bought to me by the equally passionate, imaginative and optimistically naive, Mani Bovell. Both of us were keen to break the stigma surrounding activism and demonstrate that it could be creative, fun, approachable and certainly not confined to waving an angry sign around. From this, Amps Not Camps was born!

The gigs involve bands donating their time and ticket sales going directly to a refugee charity or organisation of our choosing. This time round we are focusing on policy change, so money is being donated to our broader Canberra Refugee Action Committee. Here, money will be used to fund rallies, media campaigns, petitions, pamphlets and conferences.

What advice would you give to someone organising their own events?

I would advise people who potentially want to run their own events to not be too scared to try! There are a number of fantastic and established music scenes in Canberra that can be a little intimidating to get involved in, especially for ACT newcomers. Regardless, do what you love anyways and people will appreciate and support you for it! Nobody lost out for having a go.

Also, use what you have. We are just two uni kids with an idea, Facebook messenger and some mates who are great at making posters!

Where can people find out more about Amps Not Camps?

Amps Not Camps II is on this Friday at the Polish White Eagle Club with tickets sold here.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ANURefugeeActionCommittee/
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/1931257367109527/?ti=icl


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