by Cate Molloy
An interesting mix of older people from across metropolitan and regional NSW came together for the inaugural volunteer advocacy training day. I was one of 25 attendees hailing from diverse cultural and work backgrounds who had been selected for what turned out to be an inspiring and fruitful day.
Designed and co-facilitated by Sarina Foulstone (COTA NSW) and Mark Ludbrooke (St Vincent de Paul), the training examined the role of advocacy volunteers, and the tools and resources for developing strong advocacy skills. We discussed the rationale for building a movement of advocates who can challenge the narratives around ageing and actively advocate for policy and attitudinal changes around public policy.
It was interesting to be able to share our stories with each other and to form a deeper understanding of what it is that drives one to seek, and advocate for, change. We heard excellent and inspiring stories from people such as Nicole, a CanAct Community Volunteer Advocate, as well as practical advice from the Senior Advisor to Jo Haylen MP, Mat Howard, who shared great tips about how to engage with your local MP.
I came away from this training feeling inspired and passionate about being an advocate for my community. I would strongly urge anyone who is similarly interested to put your hand up for the next round of training.
You too can make a difference! Please use our Advocacy signup form to express your interest in becoming a community advocate.