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This holiday season, many of us will be spending time with family members who are very quick to recite what they hear on talkback radio or read in the tabloid press. That's why we've put together a guide to help you speak up for social justice this Christmas and holiday season.

First, some general tips. Keep your conversations constructive and perhaps experiment with the following:

  • Acknowledge the issue or concern behind the statement. We just have different ways of approaching the issues and finding solutions. 
  • Imagine the issue from the person's perspective. We're asking people to see life from a different perspective so let's start with a look at the issue from their point of view. 
  • Assume the best intentions from everyone. Most people are just trying to live a good and peaceful life in the company of our families, hoping to leave a healthy, prosperous earth behind to benefit future generations.
  • Help them walk a mile in another's shoes. Perhaps start with how you would respond to a situation. What would they do in the same circumstance?
  • Try not to argue, but gently offer another side to the coin. 

Here are some of the common statements we've heard in 2016 (if you have heard any others and would like to know how to respond - or to suggest a response, let us know here):

You can download a PDF copy of the guide here.

Immigration, Refugees and Race

"Muslims are terrorists...Muslims support terrorism...Muslims don't speak out against terrorism..." Read our suggested response. 

"Boat people are queue jumpers" Read our suggested response. 

"Refugees are illiterate, innumerate and will steal our jobs." Read our suggested response. 

"Asylum seekers get more government assistance than pensioners." Read our suggested response. 

"Boat people are illegal immigrants...or economic migrants." Read our suggested response. 

"The boats have stopped and this saves lives at sea." Read our suggested response.

Climate change

“Climate change is a hoax…It is not caused by humans…Global warming actually stopped 15 years ago.” Read our suggested response. 

"The Great Barrier Reef is fine. The threat is being exaggerated." Read our suggested response. 

"Attempts to curb emissions are cruel and expensive." Read our suggested response. 

“Renewable energy is too unreliable…Reliance on wind energy caused the South Australia blackout this year" Read our suggested response. 

Indigenous Peoples

“There is no definition of Aboriginal” Read our suggested response. 

“Aboriginal people need to take responsibility for their own lives” Read our suggested response. 

“There is no need to change the constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  We’re all Australians and the recognition discussion is divisive.” Read our suggested response. 

“We don’t need a treaty – a nation does not make a treaty with itself.” Read our suggested response. 


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