Cardiff Amnesty’s Choice for AIUK Elections

Owen speaking at the Wales Amnesty International Conference, Aberystwyth

The Cardiff Amnesty International Group are delighted to nominate Dr Owen Collins to stand for election to the Board of Amnesty International UK.

Owen, as many of you will know, is a committed campaigner who has been the driving force behind one of the most active Amnesty groups in Wales. Over the last decade, he has served as both Chair and Vice-chair of the Cardiff Group with enthusiasm and energy. We are delighted to endorse his nomination. We at Cardiff Amnesty believe that strengthening the voice of grass-roots activism within the organisation – with a specifically Welsh accent! – can only be a good thing.

With over 20 years of Amnesty activism under his belt, Owen said, ‘I’m so grateful to be nominated by the Cardiff Group, it’s such a privilege’.

Owen receiving AIUK Human Rights Activism Award, Nottingham

He added, ‘As Head of Fundraising and Development in a Welsh charity I’m certain that can bring useful skills to the Board. I have been thinking about standing for election for a while. When I learnt that the Board was looking for people with skills in risk management, then I knew that I had to step forward, having experience in this area’.

Be it masterminding the ‘Knit for Naz’ campaign in support of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, or organising the annual Stand up in the Park comedy spectacular, we could not hope to list all of Owen’s achievements in one post. From organising bucket shakes to public lectures, demonstrations to sponsored walks, the list goes on and on …

Taking the Temperature of AIUK

Amnesty Cardiff and Free Nazanin Campaign ‘Knit for Naz’, Cardiff

Many local Amnesty groups are meeting virtually because of the pandemic. Taking advantage of this situation, Owen would like to ‘take the temperature’ of the movement ahead of the AIUK Board Elections to be held between 30th April and 17th June 2021.

Owen said: ‘I want to be sure that I understand what the local network needs from AIUK, especially given the effects of COVID-19. I would be really grateful if local groups could spare a few minutes to tell me what they want from their Board’.

He continued, ‘the new Global Strategy offers exciting opportunities, but I feel strongly that Amnesty must not lose sight of its founding principles. The core values of the charity – freeing prisoners of conscience, campaigning to abolish the death penalty, demanding an end to torture – are key to the organisation that I joined when I was in school’.

To invite Owen to one of your online meetings please email him at amnesty.cardiff@btinternet.com.

Sponsored walk of Hadrian’s Wall for AIUK

Biographical Note:

Dr Owen Collins has been Chair/Vice-chair of the Cardiff Group for a decade, winning AIUK’s Human Rights Activism Award in 2019 for campaigning in support of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. He was recently interviewed for the BBC Radio Wales documentary Imprisoned in Iran. Alongside Amnesty activism, Owen has held voluntary governance roles in two other charities.

At the start of 2019 Owen joined the Senior Management Team of the Archdiocese of Cardiff. His wide-ranging role includes fundraising and project development, most recently co-ordinating the charity’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a background in risk and financial management in the public and charitable sector, Owen previously worked for the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales.

A former Visiting Lecturer at the University of East London and History Tutor at Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University, and the University of South Wales, he holds a PhD in history.

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