Members hit phones

Nicole Calnan
Membership and Training Officer

‘Together we made a difference’ ... call centre volunteers

Thousands of calls are being made by Federation members to colleagues across the state to emphasise the importance of securing Gonski school funding in the forthcoming federal election.

Over the past three weeks, 37 member volunteers alongside 28 Officers made more than 5000 calls to members across the electorates of Banks, Dobell, Eden-Monaro, Gilmore, Lindsay, Macarthur, Macquarie, New England, Page, Paterson, Reid and Robertson.

Members in these NSW seats have the opportunity to make a real difference to the outcome of this election. As part of the Gonski campaign, Federation has been doing all it can to ensure that Gonski school funding remains the crucial issue for our members when they head to the ballot box on election day.

In these calls members are being told Labor and the Greens have promised to deliver in full the last two years of the six-year Gonski school funding model but that a Coalition government would scrap the model and the associated funding that schools urgently need at the end of 2017. Overwhelmingly, our members have responded that they would be voting for a party that would deliver Gonski in full.

Feedback from members making the calls include the following:

“The Gonski persuasion calling has made a difference. The majority of members I called and spoke to were appalled at Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to put an end to Gonski funding. The overwhelming majority needed very little persuasion to vote against the Liberal Party at this upcoming election. Together, we made a difference” — Melissa Seymour.

“What I think was so good about the Gonski calls is that we were talking to our own about something that is so passionately felt in all schools: that Gonski is working, that Gonski is essential, and that we all give a Gonski. We weren’t doing the sell or a cold call or a phone bank like other calls I’ve made in other organisations before. This felt like we were preaching to the converted. It was invigorating, it was inspiring, and it made me want to make more and more calls” — Sam Horner.

“I signed up to participate in the Federation’s persuasive calling initiative because I wanted to do everything possible to ensure that, at this federal election, the people of NSW are voting for pro-Gonski candidates. On a personal level, last year I had four students in my year 1 classroom with diagnosed intellectual disabilities and only one of them received funded support time. We need Gonski so that inequities like this can be remedied” — Andrew Clifton.

“I really enjoyed the calling! I felt a bit apprehensive about it in the lead-up as I wasn’t sure what sort of reception I would get, but every night I did it I had so much fun and walked away with a buzz. The overwhelming majority of my phone calls were met with positivity, sharing Gonski stories and building a quick rapport over a common passion for public education.

“Those who preferred not to disclose their voting either sparked some interesting conversation or the calls ended quickly. Nearly all the members I spoke to were shocked by the proposed heavy cuts to education under the Liberal government and a huge portion of the people phoned opted to vote for education in the coming election, which was great to hear! It was quite an amazing experience and I was proud to be a part of it” — Hannah Archer-Lawton.