Meet your MP
What happens when 1,267 GetUp members mobilise to meet with their local MPs?
In 2013, GetUp members mobilised like never before.
As our nation took to the polls, we came out in force - with big smiles, bright orange t-shirts and issue-based independent scorecards.
Together, we sparked conversations with over 2.3 million voters to make sure the progressive issues we care about were on the political agenda.
But to keep these conversations going, and hold our newly elected representatives to their word, GetUp members prepared to mobilise again.
Our goal was ambitious:
to sit down with MPs across the country and talk about the progressive vision GetUp members have for Australia over the next three years.
Holding face-to-face meetings with our decision makers would be our chance to cut through the party lines and have meaningful conversations about the big issues at stake.
Rather than the lunches and lobbyists that usually fill our Federal Members' diaries, we'd be there to put the local face to GetUp's national campaigns, and let our representatives know exactly what we'll be fighting for: a fairer, more compassionate and more progressive Australia.
These would be the conversations to define our movement, and our relationship with our representatives, for the next three years.
Over the past few months, Christopher Pyne has held a meeting.
Greg Hunt has held a meeting.
Kate Ellis, Warren Truss and Anthony Albanese have held meetings too.
These are just a handful of some of the biggest players in Parliament who have all taken the time to listen to what we had to say.
By sitting down face-to-face, we were able to see past the public personas of our representatives, and learn about the real people behind the policies.
Whether we agreed on all of the issues raised in our meetings, or none at all, we’ve been amazed by just how considerate and constructive these conversations have been.
And our MPs have appreciated the chance to meet with GetUp members too.
One thing’s for sure: the impact of organising meetings with our representatives will last well beyond our thirty-minute conversations.
We’ve opened up the lines of communication with MPs across the political spectrum; strengthening existing relationships and revealing new, and even unlikely, allies for the issues we care about in the party-room.
Even though many of us didn’t think of ourselves as activists, or had never engaged with decision makers before, we’ve come away from the experience having stepped up to the challenge, learning new skills and connecting with like-minded individuals in our communities along the way.
That’s a new generation of community leaders and volunteers who have been empowered, and are ready to take on the next battle to come our way.
Each meeting has had an impact, and every team has their own unique story to tell.
Take a look at this video to watch two teams of GetUp members talk about meeting with their MP in their own words.
But the best news of all? This project is only the beginning.
With over one hundred parliamentarians having sat down to productive meetings with GetUp members, we're now in the best position yet to build upon these relationships that have been formed; relationships we can revisit well into the future.