Politics in Australia
In Australia, there are federal, state and local levels of government. Each level is governed by elected representatives who make decisions about policies and laws that affect different aspects of your life.
People involved in activism are often trying to influence or have a say in how elected representatives act or vote on a particular issue.
There are lots of ways you can advocate for an issue you care about. Some common ways include:
- taking part in a rally or protest in person or through an online site like Facebook (external link)
- starting or signing a petition through a site like Change.org (external link) or Megaphone (external link)
- contacting a government representative about an issue by phone, email or in person
- sharing your views through infographics, videos and posts on social media
- joining an online group that discusses political issues.
Did you know?
The Australian Government is currently running a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Exploitation and Neglect of People with Disability.
You can learn more about this and how to take part on our page about the Disability Royal Commission.
Contacting an elected representative
If you are advocating for an issue, it can be useful to contact members of Parliament by writing them a letter, calling their office to talk to them or requesting a meeting in person. It is important to identify what level of government you should direct your advocacy inquiry to. If you need some help finding out, you can call your local Member of Parliament and ask.
Who is my local member of Parliament?
Everyone has a local Federal Member of Parliament that represents the area where they live. You can find contact details for Federal Members of Parliament on the Parliament of Australia website (external link).
If you have an issue you would like addressed in your local community, you can ask your local council to fix it by writing to them, phoning them, or going into the council office in person. All local council meetings are open to the public to attend.
Find your local council on the online list of Australian councils (external link).
Snap Send Solve app
You can use the Snap Send Solve app to raise issues with your local council. This app can be used on mobile phones or tablets. It allows you to easily take and send photos of issues needing attention directly to your local council. You can send photos of lots of different things, ranging from broken street lights to public toilets that are not accessible.
Learn more and download the Snap Send Solve app (external link).
Joining a political party
If you are passionate about making a difference in politics, another way to get involved is to join a political party that represents the issues you care about.
There are lots of political parties in Australia, but the three major ones are:
- The Australian Greens (external link)
- The Australian Labor Party (external link)
- The Liberal National Party (external link).
There are many benefits to joining a political party, including being able to have a say in issues you care about and building a network of people with similar values. However, it is important to do your research before you join.
You can have a look at a political party's website to find out about what they stand for. You may also want to consider how much it costs to join the party and other things like what support the party has in place for women and girls with disability.