Young People Begin an ERA for Change

Over 100 young people and staff gathered online last week for the ERA For Change Launch Day, exploring “How to Be a Change Maker” in our world today.

Tiana Iskra, ERA for Change Intern writes:

“The ERA For Change Launch Day was a massive success! Approximately 115 staff and students from across Australia came together on Thursday 18th March to be inspired by advocacy. The theme, “How to be a Change Maker”, very fittingly summarised the key take-away from the day.

The keynote video by Jessica Dewhurst from The Justice Desk in Cape Town taught everyone the importance of engaging in advocacy work to achieve long-term change. Following the keynote video, the participants participated in workshops that covered a wide range of advocacy-related topics:

Get your Event Up and Running (Michael Piela, Elijah Hurley and Judith Hurley),

Thinking Through the Concepts that led to the “She’s Someone” Campaign at Aquinas College (Richard Mavros),

Influencing Using Humanitarian Diplomacy (Kyla Raby),

Making the Most of Social Media (Pagan Blight),

Turning Anger into Action (Brendan McKeague),

How to be an Advocate in Solidarity with Others? (Thelma Parker)

The day also featured an inspiring whole-group presentation by Damian Price, with a guest appearance by Nick Marchesi, the co-founder of Orange Sky. The presentation was centered on “Being Inspired and Grounded by the ERA For Change Manifesto”, which drove home the message of advocacy.

The participants spent time reflecting throughout the day. Some of the key messages were:

The difference between activism and advocacy

Sometimes the biggest success in advocacy is the change within oneself

The importance of advocating for communities by supporting their needs

Taking an ‘anti’ stance on an issue rather than being against it

That one person CAN make a difference (it is a ripple effect)

Thank you to everyone who helped organize and contribute to the day, particularly Jo Hart, Pagan Blight and Liz Maclean. We look forward to seeing all the advocacy-related ideas, discussions and projects that follow the 2021 ERA For Change Launch Day. ”

Learn more about ERA for Change