Introduction to Spokes Training
28 Oct 2021
Our Federal Election Strategy
28 Oct 2021
Why is AP4CA non-partisan?
28 Oct 2021
Parent's Pledge for Climate Action
28 Oct 2021
The next step to becoming a spokesperson for Australian Parents for Climate Action is creating your own strong narrative story.
Why parents make great spokespeople
As parents, we have a moral responsibility to protect our children. We have seen the impact of bushfires, floods, and rising temperatures. And we observe other governments around the world acting on climate. But we continue to be disappointed by our own federal government being out of step with global action on climate. As parents, we can authentically share our concerns for the future. Our politicians are there to represent us, to shepherd this future in. You don't need to be a climate science expert to want climate action.
Why your personal story is powerful
Every one of us has a unique story to tell. Being honest, personal, and authentic cuts through the noise of mass media. It makes your story relatable. The more personal, the more global our story is.
Barack Obama was famous for using public narrative techniques. He used the Story of Self, the Story of Now and the Story of Us, developed by Marshall Ganz.
“Each of us has a story that can move others to action.”
Here is a three-stage framework you can use to develop the way you tell a story to move others to action:
1. Why you? What makes you care about this issue? Why have you decided to step up?
Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live, how many kids have you got, what’s your job. Now share with us why you care about this particular issue.
Was there a single incident (for example a bushfire), or the special needs of a child, a person, or fact that enlightened you? Or was it the slow creep of anxiety, like a frog in a pot of warming water?
Try and make your story vivid with detail to make it more engaging.
“Because stories allow us to express our values not as abstract principles, but as lived experience, they have the power to move others.” - Marshall Ganz
2. Why now? Why is this so important that you want other people to hear what you have to say?
What do you feel is at stake if we don't act now? Why is what is happening right now - the incident - an important turning point? Remember, people are often overwhelmed with news about the world, so this is your chance to grab their attention.
It's good to put it in terms of shared values - what value are you driven by to act that other people will relate to? For example beauty, compassion, citizenship, community, fairness, faith, justice, love, loyalty, optimism, peace, responsibility, security, stability, wealth.
3. Why us? What action can we take right now to change the future?
Now it's time to be specific - and what is the call to action you are asking people to do? It’s what Marshall Ganz calls “urgent – and hopeful – action”.
That might be a call out to other members of your community to sign a petition, donate to a cause, join a local group.
Or it might be a specific ask to a politician to embrace renewable energy, set a more ambitious climate target, or agree not to approve any new gas.
This is a moment when the community can be empowered to act. Because we all want to act to make our community better, but many people don't know how to. You are enabling your community to act in a way they can be proud of.
You can help build a community around your shared values, and move people to take action. This is your invitation for others to be part of the solution.
The “us” might be people in your school community, it might be your electorate, it might be Australia-wide.
Once you have completed your narrative, please send it to me [email protected] - and I or my volunteer Communications team will review it and offer feedback.
Would you like to be a Communications volunteer to help upskill parent spokespeople? Please get in touch.
Heidi Lee Douglas, Communications and Campaign Director
Australian Parents for Climate Action meet and work on the lands of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and respect that sovereignty of those lands was never ceded. We pay respect to Elders, past and present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.