A key aspect of democracy is the idea that those leading our country represent the various values and goals of the people they govern. Here's the catch - they'll only ever know what we think is important if we take the time to tell them. At present, Australia's commitment to overseas aid is the lowest ever in our history, despite us enjoying greater wealth than we've ever had before. We don't believe this is reflective of the average Australian heart, and so we'd encourage you to let your federal MP know that you believe Australia needs to be fair in this regard. As a nation, we've previously committed to giving 0.7% of GNI in line with the United Nations recommendation, but we're presently giving around 0.25% - about 25 cents for every $100 we earn as a nation. A 2010 Oxfam report calculated that the amount of funds promised by nations like Australia but not given is around $3 trillion.
We'll be hosting the occasional advocacy night where a few of us get together and send a letter or two to our political leaders. These are a great way to learn how to advocate for those in contexts of poverty, and they're a fun - and powerful - way to make a difference. If you're interested in coming along to the next one, sign up for the events notice and we'll let you know when it's happening.
Here's a few resources for writing letters to your politician. It's important that you take the time to do some background work before sending off a letter, and we hope these resources will help you become a master advocate.