Amanda George

Amanda George was inducted onto the Honour Roll for her extensive community legal work.

Honour Roll

Amanda George is currently a community lawyer at Brimbank Community Legal Centre in Melbourne's western suburbs. In the 1970s she was involved in the first community legal centre in Western Australia. When she moved to Melbourne she volunteered at various community legal centres as a lawyer and on management committees and was part of the establishing collective of the Women's Legal Resource Group in the early 1980s. She has been an employee of community legal centres since the late 1980s.

Between 1986-89 she was a member of Women against Racism and the Aboriginal Rights Solidarity Group. Between 1988 and 1992 she was on the committee of Another Planet Posters and Redletter press. These were community arts screen printing and design workshops. Amanda has also been involved in community radio. Between 1988-94 she co-presented a weekly community legal centres radio show on 3CR and for four years she presented a 3CR women's world music show.

In 1988 the organisation Women Against Prison, of which she was a founding member, received government funding to set up the first accommodation service for women and their children leaving prison - Flat Out. She is still on that managing collective. In that year she co-wrote a report on women's prisons in Victoria. So that the report would not sit in libraries she decided to bring together a broad coalition of community groups - the Coalition Against Women's Imprisonment to organise the first Wring Out Fairlea.

The Wring Out became a biennial action of encircling Fairlea Prison to focus media attention on the issues around women's imprisonment. In 1992 she was involved in organising the first commemoration of women dying since leaving prison. The consciousness raising from this commemoration led to major ongoing research on the issue of post-custodial death.

The Wring Out Fairlea campaign became the Save Fairlea Campaign in 1993 when a decision was made to close Fairlea Prison and replace it with a private prison. The government wanted to move women into Jika Jika prison in the mean time and this resulted in a year long campaign, 24 hour vigil outside the prison and action in the Equal Opportunity Commission to stop the move. Amanda was centrally involved and the government eventually backed down. Amanda has remained in the centre of the action against private prisons.

Between 1989 and 1993 she was also involved in taking a successful case to the High Court around the issue of compensation for childhood survivors of sexual assault. In 1996, as a member of the Women's Coalition Against Family Violence she co-wrote 'Blood on Whose Hands? The killing of women and children in domestic homicides'. This book, which interviewed surviving family members of deceased women and children received an award from the National Committee Against Violence.

Amanda has received a variety of awards for her work including the Avon Spirit of Achievement Award, Tim McCoy Trust Award, WEL Vida Goldstein Award and from the Law Institute of Victoria.