Recognise: An Awareness Raising Campaign Essay

1352 words - 6 pages

Overview of Campaign
RECOGNISE is predominantly an awareness raising campaign. Its main aim is to motivate the Australian public (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders included) to vote in unison in an upcoming referendum, in order to secure equal rights for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the Australian Constitution and to formally ban racial discrimination by the Australian Government (Recognise Campaign 2014, para. 2). To raise awareness, the campaign uses social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, blogs, and its own personal website with an online store to purchase campaign merchandise (Recognise 2014). Additionally, the campaign employs the use of strategically timed media releases, editorials, and public endorsement by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders with 'celebrity' status (Recognise Campaign 2014, para. 10). Further to this, the campaign raises awareness by mobilising teams to journey around the country, attending community events and providing education around constitutional change (Recognise Campaign 2014, para. 10).

Theoretical Assumptions
According to the 'Recognise Campaign' Wiki page, the campaign's methodology is based on the strategic community organisation principles, developed by Saul Alinsky, which aim at uniting people together in order to overcome social inequality (Recognise Campaign 2014, para. 10). These strategic principles include: identifying and developing natural leaders within the community, providing external support, working collaboratively with the community on areas of shared interest, ensuring that goals are winnable and achieved within the time frames set, and making sure the campaign's demands are clear and relevant to the communities lived experiences (Recognise Campaign 2014, para. 9). Throughout the campaign, we see such strategies implemented in order to develop the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander capacity to self organise, while at the same time raising awareness of the inequalities they face together.

Unmentioned on the 'Recognise Campaign' Wiki page, is that the campaign's 'Journey to Recognition' (Recognise 2014, 'The Journey') is influenced by Blane Després educational 'Walkabout Program' (2008). The 'Walkabout Program' draws upon Aboriginal custom in order to create an engaging learning environment tailored to the needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Després 2008). Also worth noting, is that the campaign aims at integrating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages into the Australian dialect (Recognise Campaign 2014, para. 2). This is noteworthy, for according to Christine Walton, understanding language is essential to the negotiation of rights by the oppressed (1993, p. 43).

Each of these methods is in line with the recommendations put forth by the Ministerial Council of Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (2006). They point out, that culturally sensitive engagement with...

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