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Campaign stories

Everyday Australians are getting together to make change in their communities using CommunityRun. Campaigners have held rallies, called and emailed MPs, attended local Council meetings, pounded the pavement gathering signatures, held information days and BBQs, gathered personal stories, written formal submissions, run newspaper ads and so much more.

Here are just a handful of the many great stories behind some inspiring CommunityRun campaigns.

Don't Deport Ali Choudhry

Ipswich resident, Paul, heard on the radio about the plight of Ali Choudhry, an openly homosexual man facing deportation to Pakistan - a country in which he could be imprisoned for being gay. Paul thought that Ali wasn't receiving a 'fair go' from Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, and so decided to jump online to create a CommunityRun campaign. Paul emailed the petition to his friends and posted it on his Facebook wall, and within hours, thousands of caring people from across the globe had signed up to show their support.

'I could never have imagined how big this campaign would get when I started it just six days ago....I believe that people deserve a chance to be happy, but it seemed to me like Ali and Matt weren't getting a fair go.

In just five days, Paul's campaign had become CommunityRun's biggest yet, gaining over 140,000 signatures and making media headlines around the country. Paul got the chance to publicly deliver his petition to the Minister's office, and thanks to the dedication of Paul and his supporters, Mr. Morrison listened! The Immigration Department confirmed Ali a bridging visa, meaning that Ali and his partner can stay together while they wait for the Migration Review Tribunal to hear Ali's case. Paul's 'little' petition has helped to change Ali's life in a big, big way.

New Aquatic Centre for the Southern Peninsula!

Plans to build a brand new swimming pool and aquatic centre on the Rosebud foreshore in the Mornington Peninsula were controversial, but Nicole stepped up and took on the challenge of pressuring council to approve the proposals.

After launching her CommunityRun campaign, Nicole earned the support of over 1,200 local residents who joined with her to attended local council meetings to have their voices heard. Thanks to the hard work of Nicole and her group, the Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre will be going ahead, providing a new recreational facility for the whole community to enjoy.
Congratulations, Nicole!

Fight for the Philip Kennedy Hospice

When local Largs Bay resident Crystal heard that a very much- loved hospice near to where she lives was facing imminent closure because the state government had withdrawn funding, she was outraged. Recognising this as a huge loss for her community and having been touched by the personal stories of friends who had lost loved ones there, Crystal knew that she had to take a stand.

With the help of over 5,000 online supporters through her CommunityRun campaign, the SA government has decided to re-instate funding for at least another year. Crystal's next step is to get the South Australian government and the opposition to agree to funding in the long term.

'Never underestimate the power of people. If you have a community behind you the sky really is the limit. If something is important to you or people you know, my advice is, fight as hard as you can'

Arthur's Seat is Saved!

Peninsula Preservation Group Inc., formed in March 2013 by residents of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, rallied huge numbers in their community to oppose the pristene area of Arthur's Seat from being tragically transformed into a rubbish tip. Throughout their campaign, PPG actively lobbied, and harnesing the power of both online and offline campaigning, managed to gather 13,000 hand written signatures, and another 13,000 on CommunityRun.

Campaign leader Lee says 'The support received through the CommunityRun petition was a powerful force in getting our message out to as many people as possible, and their ideas and feedback helped shaped the campaign'.

Thanks to the efforts of Lee and her group, the EPA rejected the works approval application, and in even better news its proponents have chosen not appeal the decision. Although this battle has been won, the PPG Inc. continues to work hard on protecting the quarry land from further inappropriate developments.

No more fracking in Gippsand

Cam and his environmental activist group Friends of the Earth, in partnership with Quit Coal, refused to sit back and watch harmful new coal and gas mines from being developed in their local area of Gippsland, Victoria. Late last year they launched their campaign on CommunityRun, which aims to protect local land, water, farms and communities.

Cam says 'The fossil fuel industry is well past its use-by date, and we are doing our very best to make sure it does not get any further foot holds in Victoria'. The defining feature of Cam's campaign has been the mobilsation of the community in regional and farming areas, with locals tirelessly calling, emailing and visiting their MPs and sending messages to the Premier - and the Government is listening!

While Cam's fight is far from over, the Premier's recent decision to keep the moratorium in place until at least 2015 has given the campaign a massive boost, and will hopefully continue into the future.

Protecting the iconic Hanging Rock

In late August this year, the Macedon Ranges Shire Council decided to proceed with plans for the development of a major conference centre and hotel complex in the Hanging Rock Precinct - a truly iconic Australian location. Luke was outraged, but luckily found CommunityRun - and that changed everything. 'In a few minutes I had created my petition, and emailed my petition to my friends, and had taken my first Activist step as a 36 year old'.

That was just over a month ago, and since then Luke has formed an Action Group with support from passionate local community organisations. The CommunityRun.Org platform has provided Luke with the opportunity to have his supporters voices heard, and has started a conversation that will go on long after our petition is delivered. 'At times frustrating, and at times exhilarating, without exaggeration CommunityRun.Org has changed my life and the way I view my place in the world.'

Mobility for People with Disabilities

Taxis are the important link that connects people with disabilities to the community. They are an accessible, safe and dependable means of transportation. Many people with disabilities cannot travel without taxis. The proposal to place an annual $400 cap on the taxi subsidy for people with disabilities would have cut them off from the community by denying them access to easy mobility.

Thanks to the grand efforts of Byron and Nick who collected more than 5,200 signatures on their petition, the obstructive proposal was rejected from the budget on the 5th of June this year.


Sleaford Has Been Saved!

A pristine and undeveloped coastline has been saved by the community that cares for it. Sleaford Bay, an undeveloped stretch of coast and bush near the Port Lincoln National Park, will remain unspoilt. The bay, which is the breeding ground of whales, and which is enjoyed by locals and tourists because of its untouched beauty, was nominated for mixed residential and commercial development.

The proposal inspired a CommunityRun petition, which attracted 641 signatures. Thanks to David and his supporters' hard work, the development was this month rejected by the District Council of the Lower Eyre Peninsula.

This win demonstrates the way a small campaign can make a big difference!

Safer Australian Roads and Highways

Devastated by the sudden and preventable death of 23 yr old Sarah Frazer on the Hume Highway in February of 2012, Sarah's sister Jess led the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group in a campaign to reform NSW road safety laws. SARAH's campaign called for breakdown lanes on all of NSW's highways and freeways to meet the minimum national standard of 2.5 metres, mitigating the risk to both drivers and emergency service personnel when parked on the side of the road. The 23,000 signature strong petition was presented to NSW Parliament in September. As a direct result of the lobbying of the SARAH group, the Hume Highway's breakdown lane was widened to meet safe standards.

Save Bobin Public School

When P&C President Clare discovered her local one-teacher school with 8 students was set to shut after 130 years, she mobilised her local community on CommunityRun. They made a splash in local and state media and held stalls, regular meetings, past students shared their stories of the school's importance and locals attended a rally outside the post office when mailing their petition to NSW Education Minister. When the Department of Education announced the school's future beyond 2013 was more secure, Clare and her community were ecstatic. Speaking to local media, Clare said "I'm proud to be in a community that can get together and achieve great things."

Save King George V Avenue

Christine is a Tamworth local and member of the action group 'Save King George' - a group committed to ensuring the historic 76 year old trees planted along King George V Avenue will be enjoyed by future generations. Christine started her CommunityRun campaign right at the beginning of it all in March, and has been fighting to prevent the removal of the trees ever since. She gathered 12,000 signatures in her community both online and offline and these supporters lobbied their Council successfully, ensuring the original development proposal to remove the 47 trees would not go ahead. In early 2013 the trees were given provisional heritage listing status. Until this listing is official, Christine will continue to fight new development plans that threaten the trees.

Stop the Super Trawler

Stop the Super Trawler National Day of Action Over a few months, Rebecca's campaign grew from a small community opposition to nation-wide rejection of the super trawler that dominated headlines. The campaign, supported by Environment Tasmania and an alliance of 16 conservation and recreational fishing groups, saw supporters contacting MPs in droves and attending events across Australia as part of a national day of action. They built a website, ran a full-page ad and delivered the petition, each signature represented by a paper fish, on the lawns of Parliament. GetUp members also joined in Rebecca's campaign, doubling signatures and donating to another newspaper ad. The almost 100,000 supporters emailed, called and tweeted Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig and Environment Minister Tony Burke. Finally, after weeks of strong media attention and campaigning, Tony Burke's legislation to ban the trawler and review fishing practices was passed in Parliament. Rebecca is now focused on ensuring the ban is respected and the scientific review goes ahead.

Save the ANU School of Music

Yasmin pulled together a team to help her run the campaign and in the space of three weeks, they'd gathered support from over 20,000 people, including endorsements from celebrity music-lovers like Keith Urban! Supporters emailed the Vice-Chancellor, organised a 24hr protest concert and held in a marching band rally on campus. While the School's fate is far from secure, the campaign was instrumental in opening a dialogue between the students and the University Council regarding the future of funding decisions for the school.

Save Darlo's Laneways

Chris collected signatures online and offline, bringing supporters in his suburb together on CommunityRun to fight a proposal to close an iconic old laneway. The petition was delivered to Council and Chris' 435 supporters built momentum by calling and emailing Councillors and the Lord Mayor, and attending Council meetings. In just over a month Chris' campaign to "Keep Darlo's laneways open" won - with a redesign passing council that retained the laneway and provided new public greenspaces.

Save, protect and rezone Tootgarook Swamp on the Mornington Peninsula

Busy local action group 'Friends of the Tootgarook Swamp' have widened their supporter base online through CommunityRun in their pursuit for protection of their threatened wetlands. They've held meetings, donated to full page awareness ads in the local paper, sent letters to government and community groups, held a BBQ information day, attended council meetings, organised a hearing with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and submitted photos of the swamp to competitions. Their campaign now has the support of the local council and they're steadfast in their goal to protect the area from multiple developments.

Queenslanders for an NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme)

Carol was outraged by the QLD LNP Government's lack of support for investment in the Federal Government's new National Disability and Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As part of the Community Safeguards Coalition, Carol knows all too well the lack of support given to those living with disability, likening obtaining support under the current system to 'winning the lotto'. Carol fought hard to build support for her campaign, delivering her almost 4000-strong petition to Premier Campbell Newman in a sit-down meeting. Despite disappointing news that QLD would not support trial sites, Carol has continued her campaign, gathering stories of those impacted by inadequate funding and sending them to Queensland MPs. As the national rollout of the scheme approaches, Carol will work to raise the profile of the plight of people living with permanent disability, their families and carers.

Fund Art Education in NSW

Outraged artist and former Fine Arts student Penny Ryan reacted to the extreme cuts to Art education in TAFE instutions across NSW by launching her campaign on CommunityRun. In the space of just a few months, Penny and Fine Arts Meadowbank Inc were able to create a vibrant movement supported by over 30,000 signatories, both on and offline. Avant Card even sponsored a postcard for supporters to mail to the Premier. The petition was delivered in spectacular fashion in November last year, with supporters holding painted placards spelling out the names of all the TAFEs that could be impacted, in a rally outside NSW Parliament House. Labor MP Carmel Tebbutt tabled the petition for the group. Although the fate of NSW TAFE Fine Arts courses remains up in the air, this year Penny is continuing her fight to have the funding for such courses reinstated and describes the experience of running the campaign as "extremely rewarding".
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