Kumi Naidoo has been Secretary General of Amnesty International, the world's largest human rights organisation, since August 2018. Born in Durban, South Africa in 1965, Kumi’s first taste of activism came at age 15 when he organised and took part in an anti-apartheid protest that saw him expelled from his school. As a result of his continued anti-apartheid activism, he was forced to live in exile in the UK in 1986.
He returned to South Africa in 1990 to work with the African National Congress. He went on to hold multiple leadership roles in civil society and global organisations, including as the CEO of Civicus and Executive Director of Greenpeace. Naidoo holds a BA in Law and Political Science (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and a DPhil in Politics (University of Oxford).
Columnist for The Guardian
Owen Jones is a columnist for The Guardian and one of Britain's most well known political commentators, broadcasters and authors. He was born in Sheffield, grew up in Stockport and studied history at Oxford. After working in a trade union and as a parliamentary researcher, his first book, the international bestseller Chavs, was chosen as one of the New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he won Young Writer of the Year at the Political Book Awards. His second book is the bestselling The Establishment: and How They Get Away With It, an exposé of Britain's powerful elites.
He is a columnist for The Guardian, and has appeared regularly as a panelist on BBC's Question Time, and news programmes for the BBC, Sky, and Channel 4.
Writer and social advocate
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-born Australian mechanical engineer, writer and social advocate. Yassmin worked on oil and gas rigs around Australia for almost half a decade. She is the author of “Yassmin's Story” and the upcoming novel "You Must be Layla". She is currently based in London.
Yassmin's presented Australia Wide, a weekly current-affairs show on the ABC and Motor Mouth, a podcast on becoming an F1 driver. Her TED talk, "What does my headscarf mean to you?", has been viewed 2 million times. She has written for Teen Vogue, The New York Times and The Guardian, and delivered keynotes in over 20 countries. Yassmin was awarded the 2018 Young Voltaire Award for Free Speech and Queensland Young Australian of the Year in 2015.
Iranian-Kurdish journalist and refugee, detained on Manus Island
Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, human rights activist and refugee currently detained on Manus Island after fleeing Iran in 2013. Behrouz holds a masters degree in political geography and geopolitics, and has also worked as a freelance journalist for several Iranian newspapers. Behrouz has written for The Guardian, The Saturday Paper and the Huffington Post. In August, he published his memoir, No Friend But The Mountains, a groundbreaking book of prison literature which poetically uncovers Australia’s offshore detention regime and the systematic torture of people seeking asylum.
Australian journalist and political editor at The Guardian Australia
Lenore Taylor has been the editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia for two years and is the chair of the Walkley Judging Board. Lenore has been with Guardian Australia since its launch in May 2013, when she joined as political editor. Lenore has been honoured with two Walkley Awards and has twice won the Paul Lyneham Award for excellence in press gallery journalism. She is a formidable commentator on the Australian political landscape and has long been a regular guest on radio and television current affairs programs, including the ABC's Insiders.