Annaliese Johnston

Advocacy & Policy Manager, Amnesty International

“To achieve human rights wins, it takes committed people who volunteer to take action on a regular basis. That’s where our new Amnesty Community comes in.” 

About Annaliese 

Annaliese is an alumnus of the University of Auckland where she graduated with a BA/LLB (Hons) in 2015. In her law degree she focused on criminal justice, women and the law, children’s rights, refugees, family law and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. During law school, she interned with the Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit as a policy intern and worked as a law clerk for legal aid criminal barristers in South Auckland. She was admitted to the bar in 2015 and following graduation rejoined the Salvation Army policy unit as an advisor and legal counsel and volunteered at the Mangere Community Law Centre. She is currently based in Amnesty International New Zealand’s satellite Wellington office as the Advocacy and Policy Manager.

About Amnesty International   

Amnesty International Aotearoa is located in Auckland on Karangahape Road with a couple of employees also in Wellington. Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand (AIANZ) is part of Amnesty International, which has offices around the world fighting to improve human rights for all.

Amnesty International is a global movement of over seven million people who protect human dignity and defend human rights. It was founded by Peter Benenson in 1961. In New Zealand, we have approximately 40,000 supporters and work on a wide range of human rights issues of both national and international significance.

What is unique about working or volunteering at Amnesty – especially for those with a law degree? 

Law is ultimately about people and power. Working for Amnesty International with a law degree is particularly useful as you are able to understand and navigate the systems and structures of power that Amnesty utilizes, challenges and interacts with in order to advance human rights, challenge injustice and promote accountability.

Opportunities for Students    

 To achieve human rights wins, it takes committed people who volunteer to take action on a regular basis. That’s where our new Amnesty Community comes in.

Through online campaigning, organising events, lobbying politicians, writing letters and mobilising people, the Amnesty Community, made up of individuals and local groups, is a powerful force to promote human rights and advocate for change.

Our Amnesty Community is made up of Amnesty Advocates, dedicated individuals who work together to drive forward our fight for rights.

People may belong to a group in their local area or school, or may be part of a network, or may regularly take actions online and on social media – we count on advocates to get behind vital campaigns that save lives and end injustice and advocates can be involved in this work as much or as little as they choose, it’s a great way to do some feel-good action alongside our busy lives.


Robert Makgill