How can staff, advocates
and board members maintain their passion for citizen advocacy? What
This discussion is located on
Advocacy Network website,
in the section on
discussions and policies.
The questions above were
circulated to board contacts in the Citizen Advocacy Network in 2002.
As well, they were the theme of a session at the Weekend in Woombye
in June. The following responses were received.
Ideas raised in a
session at the Weekend in Woombye, 21-23 June
Positives: what helps
1. Identification with people
- understanding protege
- knowing about ongoing
- seeing good
- hearing stories
- believing in
2. Personal relationships within
- shared vision
- others' commitment
3. Outrage at social injustice
(life conditions of vulnerable people)
4. Learning and
- renewal events
- internal relationship
- doing the right
- being a valued member of
- shortage of time; other
- personal circumstances,
2. The programme's
- distrust, control,
- undermining of advocates,
3. The wider society
- some people give
- there is no end to people
Response from Illawarra
The following points were raised
at our May board meeting.
- Believing in the value of all
- Believing that people will
come forward as advocates.
- Having a belief in the value
of relationships (of all sorts).
- Keeping informed about CA
matters (including other programmes).
- Never losing sight of
vulnerable people and wounding: hear the stories and keep
- Recognising that we can only
achieve a little.
- Attending SRV, PASSING, CAPEs,
gatherings or joining the coordinator in a day's work.
- Being involved regularly (as
an advocate or board member, coming to the office, playing a
- Being part of a movement with
people having similar values.
- Building activities into your
life as an integral part rather than an add-on.
- Focussing on the process
(activities, meetings, people), not outcomes
- Having a relationship with
someone who's devalued (not necessarily due to intellectual
- Making only a sustainable
- Being inspired by proteges
surviving difficult lives.
- Helping make changes in a
protege's life and seeing the benefit.
- Learning from experience,
including reflecting on failures.
- Meeting proteges, seeing how
- Seeing proteges believe in
themselves and start to like themselves.
- Seeing the difference that
advocates have made.
Response from Maurice
Maneschi, Chairperson, Citizen Advocacy City West
Telling a protege's story and some
of the advocacy outcomes. Coming from a business background, it is
easy to take a lot and forget your privileged status. The work of CA
is grounding. It is an opportunity to be involved.
It brings balance to a
Passion is maintained out of doing
my own advocacy. The board work is an opportunity to support more of
it. It is great to be able to talk to others about the CA work.
Seeing the corporate image of the CA office. Our printed material
looks great and I get a buzz out of keeping it that way. When meeting
a protege for whom a crisis had developed, when I walked into the
room "she saw me and started crying". In CA, we keep seeing that one
person can make a difference. From talking to the people on the
phone. It is brilliant to see how they change. Being there - where