Politicians Need to Hear from You
Young people in Victoria have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Politicians are currently making important decisions about the recovery that will affect the rest of our lives. We want representatives to hear your stories, ideas and solutions for the recovery.
The Recovery Plan
YACVic has worked with young people to create a detailed set of solutions that are urgently needed to support young people during the recovery from the pandemic. We want politicians to hear young people’s experiences of the pandemic and commit to the recommendations in the COVID-19 Recovery Plan for Young People.
These are the steps you can follow to prepare, request a meeting and meet with your representative in the Parliament of Victoria.
Step 1: Prepare
You should prepare for your meeting and decide what you want to say and why. Write down some notes about the story you want to tell and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your life. This might include losing your job, experiencing worse mental health or struggling to pay rent. You can talk about something that is happening now or something that you expect to happen over the next few years.
You should select a recommendation from the Recovery Plan that would make a positive difference for your life to discuss with your representative. You can think about how you will ask your representative to commit to that recommendation.
Step 2: Request a Meeting
The next step is to request a meeting with one or more representatives. There are three different types of representative you can meet. You can meet with your local member who sits in the lower house or Legislative Assembly. There will be one local member that represents the local area that you live in called your electorate. You can also meet with your representative in the upper house, the Legislative Council. Members of the upper house represent a larger area called a ‘Region’ and there are five members for each region. You can also meet with a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary. These are local members or members of the upper house who have a special role in Parliament looking after a particular issue. You might want to meet with the Minister for Education or the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs if what you want to talk about is relevant to their role.
Use these steps to find your representatives:
Find your electorate online here: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/findelectorate/
Find the contact details of members, Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries online here: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/about/people-in-parliament/members-search
Email your request for a meeting to the address listed on the Parliament website. In your email include your name, a bit about your story and your availability to meet. You can use the following template to help:
Dear [Ms/Mr/Minister last name]
I am writing to request a meeting with you to discuss my experience of COVID-19 and a recovery for young people.
I would like to discuss with you [add some detail about what you want to talk about]. I want to talk with you about how the Victorian Government can implement a long-term plan to support young people who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Could you please advise a suitable time to meet [suggest dates or days or times that you are available] over [Zoom or Microsoft Teams]?
I can be contacted on [mobile number] or via reply email to arrange a suitable time.
Step 3: Nail that Meeting
Now it’s time to go along and meet with your local representative! You can use the following structure as a guide of what to do in the meeting.
- Introduce yourself
- Your name
- Where you live
- Explain what you want to talk about
- Your experience of the COVID-19 pandemic
What you want to see changed
- Link to a recommendation from the Recovery Plan for Young People
- Explain what it would mean for you
Ask for a commitment to your recommendation
Thank your representative for meeting with you
It’s important to be polite but firm during your meeting — here are some tips for meeting with your representative:
Be polite and respectful
Be organised, come on time and be prepared
Remember that they want to listen to what you have to say
Try to keep the conversation on track
Remember to include a direct ‘ask’ of the politician — it’s not rude!
Do you have any questions or unsure about anything to do with meeting with your MP? Ask our friendly Policy team at email@example.com