Selected Chat from online AFTINET 20th Birthday Celebration

Clare Middlemas

Happy birthday AFTINET! Clare from the ACTU calling from the land of the Wurundjeri people.

Don Sutherland

Hearty Happy Birthday to AFTINET. A source of great learning and inspiration for domestic and international solidarity as champions of the people. My standout memory of AFTINET is Pat Ranald’s outstanding command of the detail and complexity of the various trade agreements and how they interacted with each other. She filled in, and still does, the knowledge gaps that all of us active for fair trade had to deal with.

Phil Smith

Congratulations on the wonderful video

Leonie Ebert

Happy birthday and congratulations on the work done.

Peter Sainsbury

I want to congratulate AFTINET on its 20 birthday. Really though this is congratulations and thanks to you Pat personally. You have done an incredible job first establishing AFTINET and subsequently making it such an authoritative and respected organisation. I cannot imagine how much worse the situation would be in 2020 if AFTINET hadn’t existed for the last 20 years and if you hadn’t been so knowledgeable, so committed and so active. Speaking personally, I have learnt so much about trade from you, particularly during the negotiations for the Aus-US trade agreement almost 20 years ago. You are a real hero. Many many thanks.

Fantastic observations by Lee and Doug. Thanks for saying those things. How do we end up with such hopeless governments that mostly don’t seem to give a damn about the sentiments and values you expressed??

Michelle Higelin

Pat definitely deserves to be recognised tonight. For ActionAid, Pat has joined a number of our assemblies helping to explain complex trade agreements to our activist community and looking at ways we could work together to fight back against unjust trade agreements that continue to exploit women workers. Happy Birthday AFTINET! We are proud to be part of the network.

Frank Stilwell

I'd like to add my applause and congratulations too. AFTINET, and Pat's role in particular, has been such an important feature of progressive political economic action over 20 years. Keeping activists informed, analysing the issues, and lobbying against trade deals that sell out workers' rights and undermine national sovereignty. Making productive links with progressive activists from other parts of the world has been a great feature too. This is effective political economy in action.

Thanks, Pat, for putting on tonight's event during these difficult times. Also to thank you for presenting a very nice overview of the challenges and achievements after the excellent speeches and messages from key figures around the world, great speeches from Lee and Doug. I'm delighted to join your toast to the continuing struggle.

Phil Jones

Thanks to AFTNET from Phil Jones on behalf of SJ Around the Bay, (a network of parish social justice groups in the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay). A special thanks to Pat Ranald. The leadership and hard work provided over the years is greatly appreciated.

Suzette Clark

Congratulations Pat Ranald! Many years of commitment and hard work.

Kate Lee

Congratulations Pat for your fearless and dogged leadership over these 20 years! At APHEDA we deeply value that AFTINET has always sought to connect Australia and Australians to trade justice and global justice struggles in the Asia Pacific region and globally. Only through these practical and concrete links to internationalism, can we build an understanding in Australia amongst people that working class struggles are indeed connected. AFTINET continues to fight for trade justice in Australia and support those doing the same in the Global South and as you say Pat, reject nationalism. To everyone involved in AFTINET or who has worked for AFTINET, congratulations and Happy Birthday!

Janine Kitson

Thank you AFTINET and Happy Birthday. Very inspiring work standing up for global justice and so important for people. We are now in a climate emergency and biodiversity extinction - and it is organisations such as AFTINET that is so important in keeping a safe planet for workers and indeed life on the planet. Thank you. Great birthday party! Well done!

Luke Whitington

Happy birthday AFTINET! Very proud to be in partnership with such a great organisation!

Michelle Cashman

Happy Birthday AFTINET! Pat, you are an inspiration and its always an honour to stand beside you. I’m a proud nurse and member of the NSWNMA and I will always do all I can to help my patients, all patients. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t know just how unjust these trade deals are for so many. I will continue to support you and AFTINET in the amazing work you do.

Tim Dymond

Congratulations to AFTINET and all involved!