Recently, I had two experiences that showed me just how rewarding the journey is to become an advocate and build champions.
The first was in Canberra, meeting with an MP. We were hoping our meeting would result in him taking some sort of action, and were confident as he has a reputation for being ‘on board’ with various social justice issues. But we were pretty shocked when he said he could make a ten minute speech. That afternoon! Luckily we were prepared and could provide information and answer questions to help the speech get prepared in time.
The second was launching our new Sydney City group. A crowd of people gathered to hear how they could make a difference by building relationships with their MPs and talking to them about issues that matter to them. At one point, we asked “who knows the name of their MP?” About half of the room did. For the other half, learning the name of their MP represented the first step on the journey to being an advocate.
It’s that same first step we have all taken – leading to writing letters, meeting MPs, helping hone parliamentary speeches, or even appearing in the media to talk about an issue. An MP giving a ten minute speech on an issue that’s important to us – that wasn’t pure luck. Somewhere along the line, an advocate took the first step of finding out his name.
What step will you take today to become an advocate?