After 38 years as convenor of the Blue Mountains branch of Amnesty International, Marie McInnes has retired.
A gathering of the committee and friends recently met to thank the Springwood resident for her efforts bringing vital human rights issues to the Blue Mountains through seminars, film screenings, public meetings and talks from young people who had escaped persecution and genocide.
Dr McInnes joined Amnesty in 1978 after writing letters to the Sydney Morning Herald on many issues before deciding she needed to be part of an organisation that focused and campaigned on human rights. She became convenor of the Blue Mountains branch almost immediately and recruited many supporters over the years.
Highlights included a screening of the Apartheid-era film, Cry Freedom, which was a sell-out with people queuing up outside in the hope of seeing the film. Others included public events with Jim McClelland and Elizabeth Evatt, and book talks on Christopher Kremmer’s Carpet Wars and Mark Isaacs’ The Undesirables.
Dr McInnes appreciated support from Glenbrook Cinema and The Turning Page bookshop in Springwood as well as the many people who responded to the Amnesty International stalls and signed letters on important issues.
“Marie has made an invaluable contribution to the issue of human rights that Amnesty International has fought over 50 years, and the Lower Mountains group truly appreciates it,” said spokeswoman, Kate Blakeney.