Every Australian Counts – but what can I do?

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What can I do? How can I help? I have so little time, I have no skills, I’m not a sales person…

The NDIS is a cause whose time has come, but to get government to take this crucial step in overhauling a disability services system that is catastrophically failing so many Australians, we need numbers. We need people to put up their hands, to say “I support this idea”, and all that means is adding their name and email address to the website. So, here are a few ideas of things that you can do to help get those numbers. Whether it’s an email to friends or a morning tea, an article in the school newsletter or a presentation at the P&C meeting, every little bit helps.

The Little Things that make a difference:

    • Write an email to everyone in your contacts list asking them to log onto the Every Australian Counts website, to register and then to pass this email on to everyone in their contact list.
    • Put up information posters on your local community notice boards in libraries, shopping centres, scout halls, community centres, coffee shops, etc – don’t forget to ask management for permission!
    • Use the local community groups you are involved with to best advantage:

 – Collect registrations on the EAC postcards at your playgroup, sporting club, school P&C meeting, church group, etc.

    – Put an article in the newsletter.
    – Combine fundraising efforts with “awareness raising” – A bake sale that raises money for the club where each item sold has an EAC registration card attached.
    – Encourage each parent to register on the EAC website on the permission slip for the school disco
       

    • Use the opportunities your work place presents:

 – Leave registration postcards and information in the common room

    – Send an email via the intranet
    – Arrange a workplace morning tea and ask each person to register as they arrive/leave
    – Place an article in the weekly bulletin

The Medium-Sized Things that make a difference:

    • Hold a stall at your local markets with information fliers, T-shirts, bumper stickers and registration cards. You can get them by contacting your state coordinator.
    • Engage your local media with your personal story:

 – a letter to the editor, a feature story, an opinion piece, etc

    – select a section of the paper that you feel is relevant to your story, for example, if your daughter is a disabled swimmer, contact the sports editor; if you are a student at the local university, write for the education section; if you are a disability services provider, approach the community news journalists, etc.

  • Arrange to give a presentation at your local community group about the NDIS and You – the key here is to personalise the message so you become an inspiring ambassador. Many schools, charity groups such as Rotary and Lions clubs, church groups and youth groups are interested in hearing from inspiring role models with an urgent message.
  • Create an NDIS Team to participate in local events like fun runs, triathlons, bike rides, swim-a-thons, etc… or Join the Sydney City to Surf team – NDIS NOW!

The Big Things that make a difference:

      • Make a presentation to your local council:

 – Contact the community liaison department and discuss the best forum for this. It may be at a council meeting, at a public forum, or a private submission to the General Manager and/or the Mayor. Be clear on what you would like them to do: host an event; to be included in the program for an even already planned; awareness raising through rates notices mail out; letters of support to local members of parliament

      • Letter box drop of the houses in your local area
      • Organise an event like a family picnic day, a concert, a celebrity soccer match to promote the EAC campaign and to engage the local media
      • Approach local sporting heroes, celebrities, radio station hosts, etc for their support:

 – Just like the council, make sure you are clear about what you want them to do to help promote the campaign –  Airtime on their radio program; endorsement of the campaign in media appearances; Mentioning the campaign website in interviews, on air, at concerts, etc; Wearing the EAC t-shirt or badge at events

      • Approach local companies for support:

 – Again, be clear on what you want – Website links to the campaign website; Banner displays in shop fronts or offices; Branding (like the pink ribbon campaign) on selected goods; Post card display on shop counter… (the key with these big strategies is not to bite off more than anybody can chew. Gauge your level of influence carefully – if you have known the store manager personally for years, ask for the world, but if you’re cold-calling, keep your requests modest – you can always build on a counter-top post card display, but you can’t turn a flat ‘no’ to a ‘yes’). 

No matter what you choose to do, do it with passion, with enthusiasm and with belief. No matter how you choose approach spreading the word, make it personal. No matter what level you feel you can contribute at, know you will be helping to bring about a change for the better in the lives of millions.

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