Start A Group

If you’re really passionate about a particular issue, starting your own student group can be an awesome way to raise awareness or campaign for change. ¬†And it also can give you a chance to move out of your comfort zone and meet others who feel the same way.

Whether you want to change a school policy, campaign for the rights of refugees or show your school’s support for LGBTI communities, you’ll need a little bit of organisation and people power.

Follow these steps to make your voice heard:

1. Bring people together

Once you have identified an issue that you feel needs some serious action, you’ll need to find others who feel strongly about it as well. Start off by talking to students in your class or friendship group and then branch outwards – strike up a conversation about it with people on the bus, in the library, canteen line or in your year level electives. It’s important not to rule anyone out. You might be surprised by who feels strongly about this issue too.

You might find that some people might not know much about the issue but you shouldn’t let this put you off! If you explain the situation clearly, and patiently outline the pros and cons, you’ll convert loads more people to your cause. Good luck!

2. Set goals

As soon as you have enough people on your side, it’s time to get together and work how to approach the issue as a team. Setting targeted goals can help you design a plan of action.

For instance:
You might be really passionate about mental health. Your goal might be to promote awareness about depression and also to raise money for a mental health charity like BeyondBlue.

3. Make a plan

So you have outline your goals – how will you make it happen? There’s lots of ways you can reach a goal and it’s important to discuss a range of options. Remember to be open to ideas and suggestions.

Continuing on our mental health theme, here’s a few ways you could raise money and awareness about depression:

  • Casual clothes day at your school (gold coin donation)
  • Sausage sizzle
  • School Dance (charge entry, with all proceeds to go to your chosen charity)
4. Time + $ + Resources = Action

If you want to be really successful in your plans, you will need:

  • Timeline (When will your day of action take place? How often will you meet as a group?)
  • Budget (How much will everything cost? Find out if your school can contribute anything to your cause)
  • Resources (Where will you host your event? Where will you advertise it? Do you have all the equipment you need?)

If you can answer these questions in advance, you will find that you are much more successful in reaching your goals.

4. Talk to your teachers

Sometimes it can be hard to work out exactly what resources are available to students. And if you haven’t run a group before it can be daunting to maintain drive and momentum on your own. Try talking with your teachers about your ideas and see if you can get assistance in realising your ambitions.

If your teachers aren’t very helpful, don’t be disheartened! Use this as an opportunity to succeed on your own. Or talk it over with parents or older siblings. They might just have the perfect suggestion.

So you found your Dream Team and got your voice out there! Now what?

Think big! If you have been successful in achieving your goals, maybe it’s time to rally for awareness beyond your school grounds. You might want to consider contacting your local council or other high schools in your area to find out how you can make an even bigger impact.