TEAR Australia

Church leaders in defence of aid

During April and May we are urging Christian leaders to visit their local Member of Parliament and speak out in defence of Australian aid.

Despite already drastic cuts, Australia's aid budget remains vulnerable to even further reductions. As leaders within the Christian church and as Australians, we want our political leaders to know that we don't support these cuts.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." - Proverbs 31:8-9

Talking to a politician isn't as difficult as it might sound. TEAR's How to Talk to Politicians outlines five steps to help you do it really well. And our Briefing Document will equip you with everything you need to talk with your politician about aid.

Let's remind our elected leaders that Christians care about aid funding in the global effort to eradicate extreme poverty.

Church leaders in defence of aid

During April and May we are urging Christian leaders to visit their local Member of Parliament and speak out in defence of Australian aid.

Despite already drastic cuts, Australia's aid budget remains vulnerable to even further reductions. As leaders within the Christian church and as Australians, we want our political leaders to know that we don't support these cuts.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." - Proverbs 31:8-9

Talking to a politician isn't as difficult as it might sound. TEAR's How to Talk to Politicians outlines five steps to help you do it really well. And our Briefing Document will equip you with everything you need to talk with your politician about aid.

Let's remind our elected leaders that Christians care about aid funding in the global effort to eradicate extreme poverty.

How to talk to your politician

Download these steps as a PDF.

Step 1. Find out who you need to talk to

A simple postcode search in the Senators and Members section of the Australian Parliament website will tell you everything you need to know about your local Member of Parliament and state Senators.

As well as electorate office contact details, you’ll find links to personal websites and profiles, records of speeches, ministerial appointments and committee memberships. Find out if your local politician has made any speeches or been involved in any action relating to global poverty or Australian aid.

In the case that your local Member of Parliament is not a member of a Coalition party, we suggest that you contact a Liberal or National Party Senator instead. We, of course, encourage you to meet with politicians from all parties around issues of global poverty and aid throughout the year.

While it’s true that both major political parties have some work to do when it comes to meeting our international aid commitments, it is the Coalition (Liberal and National) Parties that are currently responsible for the budget. As such, TEAR's Church leaders in defence of aid Campaign will specifically seek out Coalition Members and Senators.

Step 2. Put a date in the diary

Politicians are busy people but they are elected to Parliament to represent their constituents and you can be assured that they want to hear from you. Simply call your MP or Senator’s electorate office and ask to make an appointment. Let them know who you are and that you would like to discuss your concerns about cuts to the Australian aid budget.

Be persistent until you have a time and date locked in. Once you do, ask how long the meeting will be. Don’t be discouraged if you are only able to get an appointment with an advisor – it all makes a difference.

Step 3. Prepare, plan and pray

Read TEAR's Church leaders in defence of aid campaign brief so that you understand the important details and are equipped with answers to the most common questions or arguments people might have. Keep an eye out for any media coverage of Australian aid in the lead up to your meeting so that you’re up to date with the latest developments.

Plan what you want to say and make some notes to take with you. Think about how you might express the Campaign’s key messages in your own words. And, most importantly, be clear on what you’d like your politician to do about it.

And, of course, be sure to pray prior to your meeting. Ask God to make the meeting effective and to prepare the heart of the politician to hear your message. Remember to keep praying for your politician after the meeting, that they will be moved to action.

Ask your politician to:

  • Lobby within their own party to ensure that the aid budget is protected
  • Speak out in opposition to balancing Australia’s budget on the backs of the world’s poorest people

Step 4. Document the meeting

Take notes during your meeting so that you have a record of what was said, particularly any action your politician promises to undertake.

And be sure to get a good photo of you and your politician to share with your church and social networks. Send a copy to your local paper. They love to report on politicians meeting with the locals and this is another great way to spread the message of Christian care in action.

Step 5. Follow up

Write to your politician to thank them for meeting you and reiterate any actions they committed to. Let them know that you look forward to hearing from them and send them any information you had promised to them. Keep following up until you receive a reply.

Tell us how it goes!

We’d love to hear about your meeting – how you found the experience and what your politician had to say. Email us at advocacy@tear.org.au and let us know if you’re happy for us to share your story with other TEAR supporters.

Briefing document

Remind your politician that Christians care about aid funding in the global effort to eradicate extreme poverty. The briefing document will equip you with everything you need, including:

  • Our key message
  • Facts about the aid budget
  • How to talk about aid
  • Answers to tough questions on aid
Download the briefing document PDF.