Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I am rather impressed by some of the larger matters that Change.org has been involved with and has influenced change for the better. Sometimes you wonder at the effectiveness of signing an online petition but normally it does not harm and may do good.

Clearly the organisation has been quite successful with smaller matters too.

Hi Andrew
Most often, we pop into your inbox with breaking and popular petitions started by change.org users that you can support -- today, we thought we'd share some of the fruits of your labour: the victories!
Every week, hundreds of Australians start petitions using change.org's platform -- about big national issues as well as local changes they want for their neighbourhood, town or state. Like these little beauties:
  • Lismore's public library has been saved from closure and further budget cuts after 619 people signed Louise's petition. 
  • A local council in Victoria will ensure a kids playground is made safer after 47 people joined a parent's petition to build a fence between the play area and a road. 
  • Residents started a petition and came together to convince their body corporate and shopping centre to start recycling properly. 
What's great, is that people like you are helping these petitions to win. By moving your cursor, signing your name, and sharing it with friends, you are making the difference between these changes happening or not. It's a domino effect. What we like to call people power. 
There's a lot to celebrate -- so have a read below about what people have won recently using petitions and people power, then start your own if you have something you want to change.
Karen, Owen, Tony, Nathan and the Change.org team.

The ones you might have seen in national media:

Sapphires DVD distributor apologises over "racist, sexist" cover
After the iconic Sapphires movie was released in the US with the cover relegating the Aboriginal female stars to the background, more than 18,000 people joined Lucy's petition asking for it to be changed. Now Anchor Bay have issued an apology and committed to reviewing the DVD cover -- with Lucy saying it helped shine a light on sexism and racism in the entertainment industry.
Middle Earth is saved
New Zealanders celebrated the protection of Milford Sounds, which played the part of Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings movies. Over 30,000 signed a petition against the construction of a massive, environmentally destructive tunnel through the area, and in July, New Zealand's Conservation Minister rejected the plan to build the tunnel!
Twitter adds a "report abuse" button to crack down on rape threats
Talitha, a 23 year old woman from Sydney, started her petition after experiencing an "horrific torrent" of abusive and threatening tweets, and hearing many other women were having the same issue of Twitter deeming them acceptable. After 130,000 people signed petitions across the globe, Twitter have now rolled out a "report abuse" button and other measures to protect users from abuse and rape threats.

A heap of local wins happening around Australia:

  • At risk of being closed due to funding cuts, a local childcare centre in South Australia will now get ongoing funding thanks in part to this petition started by a mum.
  • Security and safety at O'Sullivan Beach boat ramp will be upgraded after 153 people signed a petition to their local Mayor.
  • After fans petitioned Sony Pictures, they gave the film "Evil Dead" a wider release in Australian cinemas.
  • Qantas have removed American Staffordshire Terriers from being banned on flights -- 6,000+ people used Pauline's petition to pressure the airline.
  • The Federal Government has granted a mother permanent residency so she can stay with her family after 900+ people signed her family's petition. 
  • A "miracle" melanoma cancer drug will be made more affordable after families needing the drug and supporters petitioned the government to add it to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
  • Bellingen Hospital replaces leaking roofs after online and offline petitions from staff, patients and families gathered 2,847 signatures.
  • A rape crisis support centre has been saved from closure after the Northern Territory government to reversed a decision to cut funding following a petition and media pressure.


  1. Ha ha see I don't get their emails anymore coz they sent me so bloody many I relegated them to the spam section of life.

    1. Fen, to tell the truth, I often just delete them. I think it devalues them if you sign every petition that comes your way, even if you agree.

  2. Fen- did we start getting their emails because we signed a petition? I have forgotten but the sheer volume of them has been annoying. I guess that's the method they used to get a rainproof roof on that hospital. What a shock in this country which thinks it's so good, that we have money for MP's to go to parties with Big Gina, but not for a hospital roof leak. jeepers.

    1. Ann, I think you are correct. You sign one with using your email address, and hey presto. Yes, their priorities seem very odd at times.

  3. Well ! I didn't realise petitions were so successful Andrew. I don't usually bother thinking 'oh whats the use' ..I may have to reconsider in the future. :)

    1. Certainly Grace, if you feel passionate about something, hunt out the petition or start up your own.

  4. I remember getting a few dozen after signing one petition and just deleted them. Now I haven't seen any for months.

    1. As above River. It is nice support people in their activist endeavours, but better if it is something you feel a personal connections with.

  5. I never sign petitions, except when it comes to pets and children.

    1. There you go Gattina. We all have passions about some things.

  6. Ummm I'm a sceptic. I read somewhere that digital petitions were not accepted.

    1. Diane, I don't think they are accepted to be tabled in parliament.


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.