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Advocating for Asylum Seekers by contacting your MPs and Senators

At a workshop as part of the Welcome the Asylum Seeker Parish Support Forum at St Monica's Primary School, Moonee Ponds on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 participants busied themselves writing letters to their Government representatives requesting more humane responses to the treatment of those on Manus Island and Nauru, the tragedy of children in detention and requesting an increase in the number of Syrian refugees received in Australia.

Letter writing takes more time, so why not just send an email? A handwritten letter has a much greater impact. Emails are easier to ignore and when MPs receive many letters on an issue it sends a strong signal that people care and that they must take some positive action, especially in relation to legislation and policy. It is the weight of public opinion which counts, especially in marginal seats.

Letters do not need to be perfect, but need to be respectful and have a clear message and a request or a question. Raise one issue. Indicate briefly what the issue is that you wish to raise, why this concerns you, and what you want your representative to do about it. The ASRC has a helpful list of Words that work.

Legislation relating to asylum seekers and refugees is made by Federal Parliament. This means you should write to your local Federal MP or to one or more of the Senators who represent your state. You can also write directly to the Minister responsible. 

•             To find your local MP enter your postcode here.

•             To find your Senators enter your postcode here.

Take your advocacy to the next level by visiting your MP! By meeting a politician you can communicate more than in a letter, but even more importantly you can have a discussion and build a relationship. Tips for your visit can be found on the CAPSA site.



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