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Salvos urged to continue the conversation

Salvos urged to continue the conversation

Salvos urged to continue the conversation

18 June 2019

The Salvation Army’s Jennifer Kirkaldy (GM Policy and Advocacy), Yvonne Kwan (Policy and Advocacy Adviser) and Ben Damiano (Policy and Advocacy Adviser).

By Lauren Martin

The Salvation Army has written to all Federal Government members to highlight its key advocacy areas – and Salvos around the country are being urged to do the same.

In the month leading up to the 18 May Federal Election, The Salvation Army Policy and Advocacy team launched a webpage providing information on five key issues that it believed politicians should act on to reduce disadvantage in Australia.

The issues highlighted were poverty, housing and homelessness, family violence, substance use disorders, and unemployment.

Salvos were urged to get in touch with their local candidates and ask what they were going to do, if elected, to alleviate poverty and inequality in Australia. 

The election is over, but the Policy and Advocacy Team says there is still work to be done. The webpage is still live and now focuses on how Salvos can continue the conversation about the issues that matter most to The Salvation Army.

Jennifer Kirkaldy, The Salvation Army General Manager of Policy and Advocacy, said letters had been sent to all 287 members of parliament, outlining The Salvation Army’s key issues. She said personalised letters had also been sent to all Federal Government ministers with portfolios that aligned with those issues. 

“The first thing The Salvation Army is focused on is making that very warm and clear connection with parliamentarians,” she said. “We have also requested meetings with each of the ministers where their portfolio interfaces with our priorities.”

Jennifer said every Salvo with a passion for The Salvation Army’s key policy areas should write a letter to their local Federal member.

“Providing real stories from an MP’s electorate is so valuable because they can use those stories to speak in parliament about the lived experience of, say, homelessness and poverty.

“If you write to your local MP about an issue you are passionate about, your MP can write to the minister and get a response for you. Even if your MP is a backbencher it doesn’t mean that they don’t have influence – actually, they can be very powerful in influencing their party’s thinking about an issue.”

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