We were inspired, motivated and encouraged at our National Conference last weekend to use our voices to inform Australian and international political decisions, so together we can bring an end to poverty.
It’s all about you…
Volunteers from far and wide – from Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and from across NSW and Tasmania attended. Thank you so much for coming! Without you and other members of your groups, RESULTS Australia wouldn’t be able to achieve all that we do to advocate on global health issues such as tuberculosis (TB), HIV, malaria, polio, child health, vaccines and nutrition, as well as education and micro-finance.
The Conference was all about you – volunteers – the grassroots of our movement. We sought to find out why you’ve been inspired to join RESULTS as volunteers, and why you hope to help us to take action.
Key note speakers bring it home
Tim Costello, Executive Director of Micah Australia, was a key-note speaker at our Conference who talked about the importance of ‘hope’ in tackling global poverty, especially given that non-government organisations can become fatigued with government decision-making over foreign aid.
Lucy Bloom, a Change Maker, Rule Breaker and Former CEO of two international aid charities, gave us a cheeky insight into how ordinary people can do the extraordinary and influence MPs to take a stand over foreign aid.
Connecting the dots between health and poverty
We took a look at how health intersects with the eradication of poverty and the specific actions being taken by RESULTS with Mark Rice, RESULTS’ Policy & Advocacy Manager and Shiva Shrestha, Global Health Campaign Manager. We also discovered the importance of The Global Fund, which invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.
Pitching to those who can speak up
Rob Irving, Lead Pitch Coach with The Funding Network guided us as to how to craft the perfect pitch when talking with our federal MP.
Sharon Claydon, the Federal Member for Newcastle and member of the Australian TB Caucus and One Last Push to End Polio Champion, joined us remotely to discuss how to engage with MPs and gain their support for our causes.
Greg Bloomfield of the Australian Voters Network informed us of the responsibility we have to make Australian Democracy work and how each Australian voter can influence their MP via a ‘votergram’ on issues important to them.
Feeling for others
Our pathos and empathy for those who have lived with and survived tuberculosis was enhanced when hearing the personal stories of our four panellists, Patrick Johannes Laurens, Meirinda Sebayang and Paran Sarimita Winaarni of Indonesia and Joyce Sauk of Papua New Guinea.
Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership, Bill Bowtell of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund and Associate Professor Helen Evans, Former Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance joined us for a panel discussion about: the UN High Level Meeting on TB, why 2019 is a critical year for the TB community and the role that volunteer advocates play in helping to eradicate the disease.
The Conference included practical sessions, including Natasha Akib of Digital Storytellers explaining to us how to create impactful digital videos with positive narratives to make a difference in the world and share stories that matter. In addition, we practised what we would say in the MP meetings our groups have scheduled already or are planning, and mapped out our key group activities in the coming months.
Good time had by all
In all, it was a Conference of incredible learning and skills-building, so that volunteers are equipped to advocate their MP and engage with like-minded others to do the same.
We hope you enjoyed it just as much as we did!