We almost thought it wouldn’t happen. Voices for Justice 2018 was set amid the busiest sitting week of the year- the last sitting week and with a government in turmoil, there was uncertainty everywhere we turned. But God knew what He was doing.
As Tim Costello, our Executive Director put it; In inauspicious times- crumbling Government- packed last sitting week Parliamentary agenda -this was truly miraculous!
And miraculous it was:
- 200 delegates with 7/8 states and territories represented
- 94 meetings with MPs and Senators
- 4 days training and speaking up for the world’s poor
Our policy platform was built around a cornerstone ask to increase aid by, ‘restoring Australia to the top half of rich country aid donors by the end of the next Parliamentary term.’ And overwhelmingly, the feedback was positive, with all major parties citing that our asks were reasonable and made sense.
Here’s what some of our amazing advocates had to say:
“I can’t believe how much fun this is! Lobbying politicians gets under your skin and after a while I was on a roll with calling offices and arranging further meetings.
One of my abiding impressions was how wonderful it is that there are such impressive young, intelligent, heart-connected Christians engaging with and not being daunted by the halls of government as they speak up for those with no voice.”
Jill, Wentworth Falls NSW
“Our meetings with politicians were positive and they appreciated that we knew what we were talking about on the issues we were focusing on.
“I have been reminded how important justice is to us as Christians, it's an aspect of our faith that we have sometimes forgotten. It is empowering to speak up on behalf of those whose voices are not heard in these places—and I believe this is a practical way in which we can love our neighbours, as Jesus taught.”
John, La Trobe, Victoria
"For me, it’s hard to look at VFJ without thinking about my meeting with the Treasurer. It was a surprise and happened rapidly! As the Treasurer listened to our call for Australia’s wealth to support the poor, and his Senior Advisor took notes, it was a transformative experience for me. I saw all the two days of training, and the years of hard work in advocacy making waves.
This is what Voices for Justice is all about. It’s influential, inspiring, and motivating. And I got to see all of that in one meeting.
Never before had I appreciated the power I had as a constituent, and VFJ pushed me to make the most of it."
Ashley, Kooyong, Victoria
“The highlight for us was being an advocate for justice in a totally different way to what we normally do. Being missionaries, we had the opportunity to actually speak into the systemic issues instead of the practical loving, giving and teaching we are involved in the nations.”
Jan and Ken, Hurstbridge, Victoria
"It was amazing seeing so many Christians come together and step out of their comfort zone to be a voice to the voiceless.
I’d DEFINITELY recommend anyone to attend - whether you’ve done some lobbying before, or know absolutely nothing except that God wants us to be a blessing! Voices for Justice is an experience where you can be trained, taught and used to share God’s heart where the biggest decisions of our country are made."
Jacinta, Rothwell QLD
“It was fantastic for me to be pursuing biblical justice (AKA following Jesus) as a family.
To see my wife and daughter speak for and on behalf of those struggling bought me deep joy. And then to do this in the context of 200 other Jesus followers made it even better. This is my tribe.”
Marty, Gerringong NSW
Feel like you missed out? Don't despair! Voices for Justice will be back in 2019.
As it will be an election year, we won’t be able to confirm the dates just yet. If you are interested, please fill out the simple Expressions of Interest form below and you can be the first to know when dates are announced and receive significant discounts.
Want to see more photos? View the VFJ18 Album on Flickr.