Writing to MPs and Senators

TIPS FOR WRITING LETTERS TO PARLIAMENTARIANS

Writing to your MP is an opportunity to introduce yourself, inform them about issues

you care about, and is a gateway to forming a solid relationship. So whilst you may be

focused on asking for a meeting, or anther action, the letter is also a good way to make

yourself, and RESULTS, stand out. Taking the time to write a personal letter on an issue

is well worth it and far more powerful than a signature on a petition, a postcard, or an

impersonal ‘form letter’ on an issue.

Who do you write to?

● You can write to your Federal Member of Parliament.

● You can write to ANY Senator from your state or territory

● You can write directly to:

o Minister for Foreign Affairs,

the Hon Julie Bishop MP

o Minister for International Development and the Pacific,

Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

or

o Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development,

the Hon Penny Wong MP

o Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs,

the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP

You can best find the information about how to contact these representatives from

their websites.

Starting your letter

● Address the Parliamentarian correctly (Dear Senator Fierravanti-Wells, Dear Minister

Bishop, Dear Mr Thistlethwaite, Dear Ms Plibersek)

● Start with an attention catching sentence. It makes people want to read more. Even

put in a catchy heading. Make a call to action; some powerful information, statistics,

or opinion.

● Share your passion, concerns, and make it personal including something relevant

about yourself or your family.

Content

● Keep your letter brief – preferably one page or less.

Updated July 2016

● Connect yourself to the MP’s interests, whether that be as a local resident, an

Australian, or a concerned advocate.

● Be respectful in the tone of your letter. Noone likes to receive unpleasant mail and

remember, you are asking this person to help you end hunger and poverty.

● If appropriate, respond to:

– a recent press article (include a copy if possible)

– a letter received from the Parliamentarian

– a speech they have made on the issue.

● Be clear about the point(s) you want to communicate. Use the least amount of

information necessary, and only what directly supports your case. Bullet points can

be effective.

Concluding your letter

● Use a concluding paragraph that calls for a specific action or asks one or two

questions only. If you are asking the Parliamentarian to write to a Minister on your

behalf, ask for a copy of the Minister’s response.

● Sign the letter in your usual signature and print your name, address, work and home

telephone numbers. The Parliamentarian’s office may want to contact you about

your letter.

Remember

● Typing your letter does make it easier to read (especially for someone in a hurry!).

Legible handwriting is however more personal.

● Keep a copy of your letter and send a copy to your group leader and/or

info@results.org.au

● As a general rule, expect a reply within 4-6 weeks. You may call the MP’s office after

2-3 weeks to check your letter has been received. Share your reply with your group

and follow up if any further action from the response is required.

A letter can help you ease into the political space, so don’t be afraid to reach out, be

heard, and begin making an impact. A single page can start change, and it’s up to you to

make sure it happens!

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