A great deal remains to be achieved in the area of equal rights for the LGBTIQ community. A lot of change only comes about as a result of hard-fought wins, lobbying and campaigning.
If you feel the need to take action, the following is a list of practical things that you can do to make your voice heard by politicians and the media. You can make a difference and be part of progressive social reform.
The most obvious way to lobby is to directly contact politicians. Your first point of contact may be your local Member of Parliament.
Details of the members of the Victorian Legislative Assembly can be found here.
Details of the members of the Victorian Legislative Council can be found here.
Details of the members of the Federal House of Representatives can be found here.
Details of the members of the Federal Senate can be found here.
In addition to writing an email or letter, you can also ask to meet your local Member of Parliament to discuss a particular issue - after all, they are your representative. You can find out who your local representative is, at either state or federal level, from one of the lists below.
Sometimes there is nothing more effective (or liberating, for that matter) than 'taking it to the streets' and enaging in public protest. Direct action is sometimes organised by community organisations (such as the VGLRL) or queer univerity groups and announed in the queer media. However, if you think that an issue deserves public attention and feel that not enough is being done, then there is nothing stopping you from organising something yourself.
Tip: Be sure to know your legal rights when taking part in direct action.
Media contact information
Another way to raise LGBTIQ issues is through the "mainstream" media, including writing letters to the editor or calling talkback radio. You can find a range of media contacts throughout Australia by using the database on this website.
Victorian and national newspapers
You can send letters to the editor of:
Tip: when writing to a newpaper, the following points may assist you:
- follow the newspaper's instructions, particularly regarding word limits
- include your address and day/night telephone numbers
- your letter is more likely to be published if it relates to a current news item or is in response to an earlier letter
Melbourne has two main talkback radio stations:
- 3AW: call 03 9243 2000
- 774 ABC: call 1300 222 774
Tip: when calling talkback radio, be well prepared, including anticipating counter arguments. Don't respond to provocation and always stick to your argument.
Of course, we have media outlets dedicated to the LGBTIQ community, including radio and newspapers:
Be out and proud with your family and friends
Be supportive of equality with friends, family and in group situations. All our colleagues, friends and family can also help bring about equality by supporting it too.
Direct people who are interested in law reform to our website. Encourage them to join the VGLRL and other community organisations so they can support the campaigning for LGBTIQ equality.
Talk within our community
You can often raise awareness of issues simply by talking with your friends and family. And if you get them onside, they might help you to lobby others as well.
It can also be productive to lobby within the queer community itself. This is because different people may have different levels of knowledge and understanding of issues.
By constructively engaging other people on issues, the whole community's understanding can be improved.
Tip: Remember, not everyone has the same level of knowledge or understanding as you. Other people may also hold valid opinions that are contrary to your own. So, be tolerant and respectful when dealing with others in the community.
Get further involved
Join us! Get in touch if you are interested in joining our committee or volunteering for the Lobby.
It costs very little to join the VGLRL and entitles you to attend meetings and be on the committee. Even small donations add up. Make a donation to the VGLRL to help with running costs, press advertising, lobbying and other campaigning.