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Launch of Make A Difference - A Practical Guide To Lobbying, by Senator Guy Barnett

Tuesday 15 June, 2010

Dr Sharman Stone, launch of Make A Difference - A Practical Guide To Lobbying, by Senator Guy Barnett, Liberal Senator for Tasmania.
Launceston Town Hall, 9 June 2010
A lot of people have this burning passion to make a difference but they don’t understand how our system works, how to access the mayor, or how to access the government, or how to develop a petition to be presented to Parliament.

Guy Barnett is so caring about the fact that if you have that burning passion he has written this book.
I wish this book was actually read by brand new members of Parliament. It is a bit like having a baby, people think you will know what to do when the baby cries, how to breastfeed. There are books but people expect you will know how to look after a baby.
Guy Barnett’s life experience is as an advocate. He is donating the profits from the sale of the book to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and has brought about some regular events to bring
information about Diabetes Type 1 to members of Parliament.

People think  “aren’t lobbyists those dodgy people in white shoes who can sell ice to Eskimos?” No, they are someone who wants to make a difference, someone who wants change. The media is really a trap for small players or newcomers. You need to work very carefully with our media. In the campaign before I was first elected to Parliament I had been talking about the salinity problems in our electorate of Murray. There are wetlands or swamps called depressions. During the campaign I had talked about the Mosquito Depression. After the election I got this call from ABC Radio. I could hear the sarcasm in her voice when she asked me about the mosquito depression. She asked me what I thought was causing the mosquito depression. She thought she had a live one with me worrying about
mosquitoes having depression.

You have got to be skilled and know the pitfalls. The book is not just for organisations, it is for individuals too. Individuals in Australia can make a real difference. The power of one
exists. This is a book for individuals as well as organisations. I can’t speak highly enough about this book. Guy, I am very proud you asked me to launch this book in Launceston. It should be in  schools, and in the hands of every advocate and every individual who wants to make a difference.
I am very proud to be one of your friends and colleagues.

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