- Activist -
Today I welcome an Australian fighter for victims of crime - Janine Greening. Janine is a force to be reckoned with. She has dealt with lawyers, politicians, law courts, the justice system and our Attorneys General. She still is. Welcome, Janine. Tell us more ...
WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT JOB?
Director of the FORGETMENOT FOUNDATION INC - A REGISTERED CHARITY.
And President of Victoria Homicide Victims Support Group.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HUMAN RIGHTS?
By being a volunteer at 9 years of age for Red Cross, and because my mother was involved in human right issues, she inspired me to take an interest in what is happening around me, and if I want to make a change, not to sit on the fence
HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN HUMAN RIGHTS? WAS IT ONE PARTICULAR INCIDENT?
As a child I was passionate about Human rights, but it was my brother who at the age of 11years old ,ended up in the clutches of the mental Health system, he actually has Autistic spectrum, but no one back in 1966, knew what that was, so shock treatment and insulin treatment were used on him.
ANY PERSONAL INVOLVEMENTS?
I am my brother's Guardian since our mother's murder. I advocate for him
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS?
Living in an egalitarian society, a Utopia, but I am a dreamer
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES IN THE WORLD AS YOU SEE THEM?
Poverty, Homelessness, Mental Health, War Crimes, Lack of Education, slave labour and Victims of Crime.
HOW CAN ORDINARY PEOPLE HELP, OR BECOME INVOLVED?
By writing letters to their local MP’S, and Government officials, joining together with others who are passionate about the causes that you are. People power is the strongest tool, plus petitions and submissions to Parliament.
HOW CAN WRITERS AND AUTHORS HELP?
By taking up Causes, Human Rights stories and telling the truth.
DO YOU BECOME FRUSTRATED BY THE LACK OF POLITICAL WILL REGARDING HUMAN RIGHTS?
Yes, I do. I don’t believe we have Human Rights as such.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST VICTORY?
That I have not given up in fighting to change laws - have been doing it for 13 years
WHAT HAS BEEN THE SADDEST MOMENT IN YOUR WORK?
When I met a young mother whose son was murdered by his father, the little boy was a couple of months old, his mother would carry his ashes everywhere with her, and I will never forget the pain and sadness in her face.
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST FRUSTRATIONS?
Trying to get laws changed regarding Sex Offenders and getting suppression orders taken off young persons and adults who commit Vicious Assaults, Rapes, and murders.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
Our next forum for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
WHAT ORGANISATIONS ARE YOU A PART OF? WHY?
Forwards (Forgotten Australian Justice Committee) for family members who were placed in care.
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT SOME GOOD THINGS ARE BEING ACHIEVED IN HUMAN RIGHTS?
I‘ll wait and see what happens with the Royal, Commission into the Sexual abuse in the catholic church and other organisations in Australia.
WHO OR WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES?
Bureaucracy, Governments, Attitudes, Ignorance and Power.
ARE WESTERN GOVERNMENTS PROACTIVE OR REACTIVE?
Wish I Could answer this.
ANY ADVICE FOR A LAWYER CONSIDERING HUMAN RIGHTS LAW?
To be open minded. Human Rights, especially if you are working with Victims of Crime, should not be one sided. In Australia Human rights for victims of crime is non-existent. The scales of justice are not balanced.
IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS ALL WORLD LEADERS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
You have the power to make a difference, in regards to the world Climate, Environment and the animals that are disappearing at such a rate. We live in a fragile world and the greatest disease of all is Poverty.
WHO HAVE YOU WORKED FOR IN THE PAST?
Department of Human Services (Disabilities)
Volunteer, St Vincent de PAUL
Volunteer Ardoch Youth Foundation
Volunteer Office of Public Advocate
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST DREAM?
To see respect for the environment and the animals that live on this planet, then maybe humans will respect each other.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY?
I love Simplicity, just to sit back and take in the beauty of each day, and those I love - my grandchildren and my furry friends
WHAT ARE YOUR FIVE MOST FAVOURITE BOOKS?
The Call of the Wild by Jack Loddon
The Moon is a balloon by David Niven
Thoughts of Nanushka by Nan Whitcomb
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Bloom
The summer that Bled by Anthony Masters (Biography of Helen Senesh)
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE?
With hope in my heart, knowing that there are many people who are activists for many causes to make a change to bring about education and awareness of what is going on around us in the injustices of mankind, and those who will tell the stories with courage and conviction.
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
Whatever your dream hold on to it, never let go of hope, because it is the last thing to die. Can’t you tell HOPE is my favourite word; I live in hope every day?
Clancy's comment: Go, Janine! Love ya passion. Keep up the good work.