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Champions for Change Campaigns & Advocacy Fellowship

Champions for Change is a 6-month community organising, advocacy & campaigns fellowship. It is about equipping Refugee Council members, supporters and refugee community members with important advocacy and campaigning skills and set up structures that enable for strong communication, planning and implementation of effective movement-wide campaigns that span the country.

The aim of Champions for Change is to foster stronger collaboration and coordination in the refugee rights movement, with the ultimate aim of winning more campaigns. As a result of which, we want to transform the way Australian politics, policies and the public perceive and treat refugees and people seeking asylum.

We are building a movement.


So what does it involve?

Champions for Change is a 6-month fellowship that is broken up into five key stages:

1. State-based training (see dates below) –

In March 2019, the Refugee Council of Australia will travel to all mainland state capitals to run a two-day training session for the successful applicants in each city. We are aiming to work with a group of around 10 ‘champions’ per state. These trainings will equip champions with some foundational knowledge and skills around campaigning and advocacy to foster strategic campaigning in the refugee rights movement well into the future. We’ll help Champions with on the ground experience by empowering them to help organise a small campaign around the election in a target electorate to encourage that future MP to become a stronger supporter of the Platform for Change. At these trainings, Champions will also be paired with a Volunteer Community Organiser who will support them throughout the entire fellowship.

2. Campaign skills in practice (March-May) –

In order to put into practice the skills learnt in the March training, as well as to build networks in key strategic electorates around the country, Champions will work with a group of fellow Champions in an electorate of their choice in the lead up to the Federal election. The aim of these campaigns are not to shift election outcomes, but rather to strengthen campaign skills, build strong relationships with sitting MPs, candidates, influential local leaders, constituents and each other. Champions will be given ample resources to support them in this work.

3. First 100 days of new/re-elected Government (May-July) –

Following the Federal election, Champions will work to use the networks they have fostered to organise meetings with the elected MP to make the case for some of the refugee rights’ movement’s key priorities. Champions wil work with fellow champions across the country to support strategies to achieve priority policy changes in key pillars such as offshore processing and fair process.

4. Monthly webinars –

Throughout this period, RCOA will run monthly webinars to cover training topics such as supporting volunteers, doing social media effectively, how to run a good meeting with an MP and others. These are an opportunity to continue the learning, but also put into practice the skills being learnt. These webinars will be held of an evening on a day that is mututally agreed upon by the cohort.

5. Final retreat (9 -10 August)

From Thursday 8 – Friday 9 August we will host a final retreat where Champions will have the opportunity to debrief from the Election campaign, build more skills and make plans for the next 6 months in their organisations, local groups and communities. The retreat will be held locally in each major city where the training is held, and we will connect nationally via video conference.


Time Commitment

Each participant will be expected to:

  • Attend the 2-day training in their local city in March
  • Contribute 2-4 hours over each week in the lead up to the Federal election
  • Contribute 1-2 hours over each week in the first 100 days after the election (until around 31st July)
  • Participate in a debrief retreat from 9-10 August

The fellowship runs from March to August.


2019 Application

Applications have now closed for 2019, but be sure to check back in late 2019 for next year’s applications!


March Training Dates

These training will be 8.30am-5.30pm days. All food and refreshments will be provided.

AdelaideThursday 14 – Friday 15 March
BrisbaneThursday 21 – Friday 22 March
MelbourneMonday 25 – Tuesday 26 March
SydneyThursday 29 – Friday 29 March
PerthSaturday 30 – Sunday 31 March



Please note, prices are set with the intention to make this training as accessible as possible. If price is a barrier to participating, please contact Samuel on to discuss options.

Refugee Community Member

No charge

Unaffiliated individual/Staff member at RCOA member organisation/Staff member at non-RCOA member organisation

Fee on sliding scale from $150-$1000 depending on financial means.

Discount provided to RCOA members



Contact Samuel Dariol at the Refugee Council of Australia at



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We need you to show our government that Australia cares about refugees. Help us by joining the movement so we can protect refugees, not punish them.


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