From encouraging incremental change to contributing to wide-ranging systemic reform – petitions are a powerful advocacy tool to bring about action. Petitions are a request for change, usually addressed to a decision-maker – a person who is in a position of power to make change. This could be an elected representative, such as a Member of Parliament, Senator, Prime Minister or Minister of a particular portfolio such as “Environment.” Or it could be someone in a corporate position, such as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or board member of a business who has the voice and influence to make change on the issue at hand.
A petition usually:
Petitions are powerful starting points for important conversation, both within the community and with decision-makers.
Signing a petition is a great entry point for many members of the wider community to learn about and engage with an issue. This is why you often see them used by volunteers and local groups having conversations on the street or at a market stall! But petitions are key to having constructive conversations with decision-makers too.
MPs and Senators care about what their constituents think, and many businesses are concerned about how people perceive them – so seeing a petition with hundreds or even thousands of signatures gives them a strong indication of what their community thinks is a big priority.
As petitions gain momentum they can attract media attention and contribute to major policy changes at a federal level. One small signature can kickstart a process for change that creates a better future.
Petitions are one tool to create conversations that support action by decision-makers. But there are many other ways to make your voice heard:
You can get started by signing an ACF petition for an issue you care strongly about. These petitions are delivered to MPs and Ministers to let them know about the thousands of Australians that care for nature and want a world where nature and communities thrive.
Photo: Community conversations at an ACF BBQ in Western Sydney in 2019 to present the Nature Laws petition to Tony Bourke's representative. Credit: Jill Rischbieth