As a young woman, it didn’t take much to spark my anger. Poking this bear was looking for trouble! Although assisting marginalised people was compelling, being amongst activists raised my anger level unhelpfully. I backed off, not wanting to become a constantly simmering pot of anger. Having dealt with some underlying issues, I am much calmer these days. But I also recognise that controlled anger can be well-utilised to call for justice.
Nevertheless, I have re-engaged with social justice activists with trepidation. Happily, I have found a group who are respectful and intelligent in their approach: my local Sydney Alliance group. Initially, we build relationships with others concerned for the common good of those around them. It’s enriching to meet these compassionate people, intent on making a positive difference for others. There is encouragement in working together. We are guided by experienced Sydney Alliance leaders to formulate an informed approach, based on our combined strengths and connections. No specific agendas are forced upon us and we agree on one cause which is a high priority for us all. Recently, we heard personal stories of the huge dilemma of international students who lost their jobs and the desperate circumstances which resulted. After raising our collective voice to ask for support for them during COVID-19 restrictions, we thanked those responsible for providing an allowance to them. Recently we became aware of many local ‘at risk’ youth, and how the local organisation Streetwork is having a very positive impact upon them. We are currently strategising how to best support 'Streetwork' to multiply its impact.
If you would like to be peacefully proactive and productive, here is an opportunity to gain some skills to write to, and meet with, your local State or Federal MP. (This enables them to do their job well in representing us, their constituents.) Lane Cove Uniting Church has organised an online training session with Uniting’s Advocacy Team. Everyone is welcome:
I appreciate these approaches where expertise and information are shared, enabling us to be productive and efficient together. I am blessed to have these new people in my life too. It’s energising to be part of an eclectic team, making a difference for people who really need an advocate, simply by dedicating an hour or two a month to their cause. Is it something you would like to do too? Click on one of the bold, underlined links to find out more.
The articles here are currently written by Liam McKenna, Lane Cove Community Chaplain.