Community Advocacy Programs
Community advocacy programs
Advocacy is the act of providing assistance or representation to others. That representation is commonly in reference to legal assistance and representation, but it may also refer to positions on policies when making representations and submissions to commercial entities, business peak bodies, or various levels of government.
The term 'advocacy' is often used as a synonym for the provision of legal representation. There are many organisations that fulfil a need in the community to provide legal services that are accessible to people who do not deal with matters of civil law as part of the daily lives.
Advocacy groups perform a vital function in the community, promoting the rights of people within the community with a diverse range of interests. Advocacy groups are often structured as nonprofit or not-for-profit entities and their funding is typically sourced from government grants, membership fees and from private donations.
The following examples of advocacy groups demonstrate a diverse range of programs for special interests.
Community Advocacy Programs
Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS)
The Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) is a specialist legal information and advocacy service for (i) people with intellectual disability and (ii) people who provide assistance and professional services to people with intellectual disability. Their advocacy program includes assisting service providers, individuals and the community to better understand the needs of people with intellectual disability and to promote and respect their rights.
IDRS works to exercise and advance the rights of people with intellectual disabilities by providing legal support; advocating for improvements to laws and policies affecting them; providing assistance for support workers for people with intellectual disability and providing information to service providers and the community about the rights and needs of people with intellectual disability.
National Parks Association of NSW
The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) is an organisation that has been established for over 60 years in New South Wales and has helped establish many national parks and reserves. NPA aims to protect nature through community action, leading the way with programs that seeks to engage the community with sciences to promote a greater appreciation for the value of natural areas.
NPA campaigns for the protection of natural areas as new national parks and marine sanctuaries. They contribute advocacy work for national parks and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, engaging members of parliament to encourage the upholding of laws that protect national parks and help to contest the weakening of laws that protect national parks and nature reserves in NSW.
Citizen Advocacy Western Sydney
For over 35 years, CAWS - Citizen Advocacy Western Sydney has provided advocacy and support to people with a disability to ensure that their life is enjoyable and interesting. CAWS is a not-for-profit community based organisation in Western Sydney, engaging community advocacy programs that address the urgent needs of people with a disability including assistance to their families and carers. In simple terms, CAWS helps people living with disabilities deal with government departments; access health care and other services; assistance with Guardianship Tribunal hearings; address issues with employers, neighbours and co-habitants.
CanAct - Cancer Council NSW is a community of thousands of advocates with the passion and power to change what politicians do about cancer. In the past, the CanAct community has successfully advocated for successive governments to enact laws that protect the community from known causes of cancer. CanAct has built a network of over 25,000 community advocates, members who participate in programs to engage with media and government.
Western Sydney Community Legal Centre
The Western Sydney Community Legal Centre (WSCLC) is a non-profit community advocacy organisation. Their mission is to deliver legal services and support to disadvantaged people in the community who may otherwise not have equitable access to the legal system. The Centre is managed by a volunteer management committee consisting of local residents and workers with an interest in community justice. They deliver programs addressing various areas of law, including Family Law, Domestic Violence, Employment Law, Wills, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Neighbourhood Disputes, and Consumer Credit. They perform legal representation tasks on a case-by-case basis.
Inner Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service
The Inner Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service (ISTAAS) is a program of the Redfern Legal Centre that provides free, confidential legal information, advice and advocacy to tenants living in public and private residential housing. Their services are available to renters in the City of Sydney, Botany Bay & Leichhardt local government areas.
What does Do Gooder do for community advocates?
For organisations that want to gather supporters by advocating through online channels, Do Gooder's tools makes the work of online campaigning easier. The tools are ideal for community advocacy organisations with limited budget or personnel. Setting up a campaign website is easy and give users the ability to turn an ordinary website into a powerful tool to help fellow advocates cooperate and coordinate their direct advocacy action.
The Do Gooder platform makes it possible for community advocate groups to setup a website that calls for support for their programs. If you use the platform to create a campaign website, the platform allows website visitors to:
- View your policy or mission statement and answer your call to action.
- Search for the contact details of federal and state politicians.
- Email politicians with your prepared message.
- Contact politicians with a telephone call.
- Send messages to a list of recipients with contact details provided by you.
- Respond to online surveys created on Do Gooder.
- Contribute money to online fundraising campaigns.
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