February-March 2016 Steering Committee Reports

Steering Committee Report  – February, March 2016

Actions and Events

  • Palm Sunday planning and promotion went well – with about 3500 people in attendance: our biggest rally yet. It was an energising and powerful event with the Faith-based, unionist and student groups being the biggest ever. Our decision to have banners at public places worked well, and the new t-shirts were a hit.
  • In the lead up to Palm Sunday, we had markets during O-week at each of the three unis, with a lot of interest, repeated leafleting at the Farmers’ Markets, north and southside, and a team at the Multicultural festival. A small contingent from Rainbow RAC waved the flag at Mardi Gras. We had the usual corflute holding during peak hour at Northbourne Avenue and also, for the first time, at Hindmarsh and Melrose.
  • The Spin and Secrecy Forum on 16 February 2016 was very successful – the venue was filled to capacity (we had tried for the larger venue, but it was booked).
  • As part of the Sanctuary campaign, we arranged media interviews with participating churches and faith organisations. We also actively supported the social media campaign and the ANU group have petitioned the Chancellor to participate in the campaign.
  • We also supported Jessica Hackett, who walked from Victoria to Canberra to deliver a petition about asylum seekers and the big Grandmothers Rally held at Parliament House.
  • We spoke at the Australian Education Union Council, the University of the Third Age, and the Queanbeyan and Yass RARs.

Policy Developments

  • We worked with People Just Like Us to develop a ‘Pledge’ campaign.
  • We participated in the Let Them Stay campaign – building support through our communities.
  • We lead a delegation to talk to the ACT government about the costs of running a rally in the ACT – the only jurisdiction to charge – and were successful in gaining agreement that NGOs should not be charged.
  • We drafted an election strategy document for discussion at the April General Meeting.
  • We provided input to a document ‘We Can Do Better’ – which was drafted by a loose group of professional NGOs. The document is drafted in the belief that the major parties are seeking to soften their current policies.