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
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.