• Day 3 Voices For Justice - Entering Parliament

    Posted by Micah

    18 September, 2012

    Day 3 – Voices For Justice

    Caption Phil Chan with other Voices For Justice participants

    We’re finally here and there’s a hive of activity at Parliament House! After a morning prayer session on the front lawns, we’ve been busy today meeting with politicians, attending panel discussions and question time, which was unsurprisingly rumbustious.

    Our lobby group had an extremely encouraging meeting with the Hon Laura Smyth MP, the federal member for La Trobe in Victoria. We were blown away by her overwhelming support for the MDGs and passion in helping the poor. I was particularly surprised at how friendly and frank she was during our discussion, sharing her experiences in the Asia-Pacific, where she saw poverty first-hand, and her activism on social justice before entering politics.

    She was genuinely interested in what we had to say. She said it was important to cultivate community support on our policy asks, such as raising awareness on the importance of aid for sanitation and hygiene, and to suggest cuts in other parts of the budget which could be funnelled into aid. She was especially interested in Micah Challenge’s new policy on tax evasion by multi-national corporations in tax havens and its negative relationship on aid and the wealth of poorer nations.

    I am very proud of our lobby group who sought God and represented Christ’s voice at the heart of our nation, Parliament House. God used us to speak engagingly and eloquently from the heart enjoying light-hearted moments with Laura.

    At the end of the meeting, before I even had a chance to ask, Ms Smyth offered to make a speech on the issue in the next few weeks. This had an impact on me as it demonstrated to me that the Australian political system really is open to the voice of the people and of God. To add the cherry on the cake, she attended our media event this morning and was more than happy to make a public pledge on video. As we left her office, she stuck our poster on her window communicating her support to other MPs.

    We need more politicians like Laura. Passionate, committed and caring, she has left our lobby group on a high and we can’t wait to meet our second politician to make real change for the global poor, striving onward to finish the race!

    Caption: Tim Dixon speaking at the Micah Summit


    Phil Chan is a committed Micah Challenge Campaigner and participant at this year's Voices For Justice and regularly attends St Barnabas Broadway in Sydney.