Great change can happen when you become actively involved in making your community a better place. When you speak up about things that are important to you, the issues you care about can be addressed. This is often called advocacy, and advocating with and for communities is a key role for Community Waitakere. You might like to get your voice heard (advocate) for something in your local school, your community, Auckland, Aotearoa or an international issue.
Advocacy can take many forms. It can be as simple as talking to a friend about something you care about. It can be as complicated as coordinating a global campaign across many countries. It is important to remember that all forms of advocacy are important, and that everyone has a chance to participate and have their voice heard. It does not matter if you are a young person in school or a member of parliament; you can still strive to make your community a better place.
Where to start?
Connect with a local organisation like ours
Local community organisations are here to help you work through ideas and issues that are important to you, your whanau and your community. Community Waitakere can support you to advocate at different levels. Check out the following pages to learn more about getting your voice heard:
Below are some classic examples of different ways of getting your voice heard, to get you started. If you’d like to talk to us more about the positive change you’re trying to achieve in your community, please call our team on 838 7904.
Have a conversation!
It sounds simple, but having a conversation about issues that matter to you – even if just with friends and family – is one of the most important ways you can spread awareness and advocate.
Become a volunteer
Volunteering is when people give up some of their time to work for an organisation or group that they care about, usually without being paid. By volunteering, showing that you care about others or that an issue is important to you.
Write a letter…or a few
Writing a letter to the people who make decisions about the issue important to you can be an easy first step for advocacy.
Arrange a face-to-face meeting
Making a personal visit is a great way to show local MPs, community leaders or company managers that you are passionate about a certain issue.
Create or sign a petition
A petition, including online petitions, is a formal request for action. Petitions are usually submitted to a person or group in a position to make decisions or take action, such as a government official or principal.
Create or join a campaign
Campaigns are events or actions designed to promote a cause or create change. Campaigns can include holding a neighbourhood concert or any other event or platform that aims to create awareness. Increasingly, campaigns are started using the internet and social media.
Join a committee
A committee is a group of people that meet together for a shared reason or to do tasks together. Every committee is different and you don’t need to look far in West Auckland to find a committee taking action on a wide range of issues.
Form a youth group
A youth group is a group of young people who have decided to come together to work on a certain task or issue. Starting or joining a youth group can be a great way to work together to advocate about an issue.
Attend a group protest or rally
Rallies and group protests are when people gather together in support of a cause or against an action or decision.
Use the media
Traditional forms of media includes television, radio, print (e.g. magazines & newspapers). It is very common for online social media networks to be used as well. The media can be used as a powerful tool of communication. It helps to get your message across at a faster rate and to the right audience.