Anglicare Australia aims to give the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community a voice in the lead-up to the federal election, Acting Executive Director, Roland Manderson, said today.
They say you judge a society by how it treats the most vulnerable. But the voices of people on the margins of our society are very hard to hear at election time,” Mr Manderson said.
“In fact these people are usually ignored, as politicians jostle for the attention of middle Australia.”
In the first of its kind, Anglicare Australia today launched an extensive campaign to capture those voices and make sure they are heard. As a network, Anglicare supports more than 500,000 of the most marginalised Australians every year.
“Across the Anglicare network we’re using a postcard, featuring a painting by Michael Leunig, to ask people what is important to them in this election, and what changes they’d like to see in Australia over the next few years,” Mr Manderson said. “And we’ve already started receiving some interesting answers to those questions.
“We know we can’t magically fix our client’s priorities overnight, but we do hope to give some weight to the issues people raise and perhaps even put pressure on political election debate. The postcard is supported by online and video channels.”
Twenty-five Anglicare network members across Australia are participating in the postcard campaign. Video vignettes of clients responding to the questions on the postcard have been produced and are being promoted through Anglicare websites and YouTube.
Once the postcards are collected and the data analysed, the postcards will be publicly displayed and then delivered to politicians before the election.
“We think of democracy as being about everyone having an equal say. But that’s not just about voting. It’s also about being heard,” Mr Manderson said.
“We are working at the grassroots to understand what changes are needed at the fringes to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged families.
“We encourage all Australian’s who’d like their voice heard in the lead-up to the election to visit our dedicated website page and fill out the online survey that mirrors the postcard.”