Given the recent attack on the charities sector with this week’s passing of the political campaigner bill, this month’s Impact Fund update is focused on partners working for a stronger democracy: the Big Deal documentary (supported by the #OurDemocracy campaign), Reset Australia’s Misinformation Medic campaign, and the Australian Gun Safety Alliance.
Update from our Impact Fund Partners: December 2021
With the political campaigner bill lowering the threshold at which charities must disclose political spending and forcing them to reveal donors with retrospective effect, the bill is expected to place an extra burden on charities and discourage Australians from participating in political debate.
While there is reason to celebrate with the Senate’s vote last month against new regulations that would have expanded the Charity Commissioner’s powers to deregister charities, the lack of notice, public explanation and sector consultation around the political campaigner bill highlights the importance of the work our civil society partners are doing in this space.
Big Deal documentary and #Our Democracy campaign
Strengthening Democracy Partners
The film’s national cinema release was celebrated with a virtual Q&A featuring Malcolm Turnball, Waleed Aly, Lidia Thorpe, Christiaan Van Vuuren and Craig Reucassel. With Victoria and New South Wales in lockdown at the time, virtual community screenings proved to be a popular option, attracting 5,000 attendees.
The film has also been used as a fundraiser for community events, providing engagement opportunities for the #OurDemocracy campaign to develop deep and meaningful relationships with change agents across Australia working to revitalise democracy.
In October, the documentary was broadcast on the ABC and reached the #1 trending topic on Twitter overnight.
A day before the second episode of Big Deal went to air, Independent MP Zali Steggal raised the Big Deal in support of Helen Haines’ bill on integrity in the House of Representatives to all 151 sitting members. She succinctly summarised the documentary stating: “The documentary Big Deal, recently aired on the ABC and viewed by many around the country, has shocked many Australians. There’s no doubt that money has a disproportionate role in and impact on Australian politics.”
The documentary has been a powerful tool to bring more people into the #OurDemocracy movement with the campaign’s mailing list doubling in the past month. With the documentary available on ABC’s view until March 2022.
Join the campaign’s ‘Anti-Lobby Lobby’ movement by heading to the Big Deal website and signing up for the mailing list. You can also find instructions for contacting your MP and connecting with others in the community concerned about the influence of money in Australian politics.
The Impact Fund has given $170,000 towards the Big Deal’s impact campaign, and supported the #OurDemocracy campaign in 2021 with a $45,000 grant for a Campaign Director role.
Reset Australia: Misinformation Medic
Strengthening Democracy Partner
“We developed and ran a digital campaign called The Misinformation Medic that sought to capitalise on the public’s awareness of the pandemic to educate them about how misinformation spreads online.”
Using an interactive quiz as an engagement tool, the campaign worked to address misconceptions about Covid-19 and highlight the role of big tech companies in the spread of misinformation online.
“The Misinformation Medic helped Reset Australia reframe the narrative on misinformation spread on social media during the COVID crisis. For participants we engaged, it shifted their perception of false COVID misinformation from one of personal responsibility to one which the big tech companies are responsible for. The campaign led to a rigorous policy development process that aimed to solve this problem.”
The Impact Fund granted $38,000 to the Misinformation Medic campaign as part of the Impact Fund’s Covid-19 Agile Grants round.
Australian Gun Safety Alliance
Strengthening Democracy Partner
The Australian Gun Safety Alliance (AGSA) has shared an update with supporters to celebrate the publication of research conducted at the University of Sydney demonstrating the burden of firearm-related violence in New South Wales during 2002-2016.
The article ‘Gun violence in Australia, 2002–2016: a cohort study‘ by Professor Joel Negin et al details main findings from the research, including how strategies focused on people at particular risk of self-harm and assault with firearms could reduce the associated injury and death rates in Australia.
The Impact Fund has provided continued support for the Australian Gun Safety Alliance, granting $90,000 over 2017–20.
Quick and easy ways to support
Below you will find some quick and easy ways to show your support this month on some of the other critical issues our Impact Fund Grant Partners are tackling.
- The Poverty and Inequality Partnership is hosting a special event for supporters on Monday 6 December 2021 to celebrate achievements of the Parntership so far. Contact us to RSVP
- Invasive Species Council (ISC) is calling on supporters to make an urgent submission on the Tasmanian Government’s draft management plan for feral deer. ISC has provided a draft letter for you to edit and submit. Submissions close 5pm Friday 3 December 2021. Make a submission
- The Climate and Health Alliance is encouraing supporters in Victoria to fill in the Sustainability Victoria 2030 Survey to provide feedback on the draft roadmap for Sustainability Victoria’s work into this next critical decade. Go to survey
Feature image: The Big Deal documentary, the #OurDemocracy campaign, the Misinformation Medic campaign, the Australian Gun Safety Alliance.