Engaging your local candidate this election

Dementia Australia - Engaging your local candidate this election

Unite with us to make change happen

The number of Australians impacted by dementia is growing exponentially. We need immediate action so that the needs of people living with dementia get the due consideration of our decision makers.

This Federal election, you can play an active role in influencing politicians so that people impacted by dementia receive the care and support that they need and deserve. 

To make that easy and effective for you, we have prepared this handy guide.  Essentially in the 10 minutes it takes to read this, you will know both what to say and how to be heard. 

Key Facts – What to say

  1. Dementia is the second leading cause of death for all Australians and number one for Australian women.
  2. More than 447,000 Australians are currently living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to almost 1.1 million people by 2058.
  3. The costs associated with dementia are rising. In 2019, dementia is estimated to cost Australian tax payers more than $15.5 billion. By 2025, the total cost of dementia is predicted to increase to $18.7 billion in today’s dollars, and by 2056, to more than $36.8 billion.

Quick Tips - How to be heard

Here are some ways you can have your say in the lead-up to the Federal election:

  • Organise a meeting with your local candidates.
  • Call or write an email or letter to your respective candidate.
  • Engage them in conversation at an event or whilst they are out in the community.
  • Contact them via social media e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. 
  • Call your local talkback radio station.
  • Enrol to vote.

Whether you do one or all of these things, every action and every conversation makes a difference. The most important thing is to take advantage of this occasion and have your say. Ask what your candidate will do to support people impacted by dementia.

Remember, candidates are competing to represent you and they want to know about the issues that are most important to you and your community.

Be prepared to share your personal experience with dementia – this will help demonstrate the importance of the issue.

If you have any questions, or have a great idea on how to engage with a candidate but need a little help, please get in touch with the Dementia Australia team at DementiaAustraliamedia@dementia.org.au

General questions and advice

Who are the candidates in my area and how can I contact them?

We will publish a full list of candidates and contact details here when available. Look for their schedule of public events from their website to have a personal chat.


How do I reach them via social media

Download our social media pack

Dementia Australia - Social Media Graphics Dementia Australia - Social Media Graphics
Dementia Australia - Social Media Graphics Dementia Australia - Social Media Graphics

Request a meeting with your local candidate

Phone or email your local candidate to request a meeting. Election periods are demanding and candidates may be quite busy during this period, but even if you don’t get a time to see a candidate, your request is noted by them and their staff, and helps raise awareness of dementia in the community.


Letter / Email Tips

Template letter/email to your candidates

Please consider personalising the text provided. If you have been impacted by dementia, or a particular element of the election platform is important to you, don’t forget to include that. 


Call your local talkback radio station

A great way to help bring attention to issues related to dementia this election is to discuss them on your local talkback radio station.

List of talkback radio station numbers

Some tips and advice for calling talkback radio stations:

  • Allow for plenty of time. Sometimes the producer who answers the call may ask you to wait on the phone for up to 5-10 minutes until they are able to put you through to speak live on air.
  • Consider writing down a couple of points you wish to bring up during your phone call.
  • Unfortunately the show may not always be able to take your call. If this is the case, consider trying again another day.
  • Try to call when the presenter is seeking talkback calls about a topic related to dementia such as health, ageing, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety etc.
  • Radio programs will regularly interview political candidates during election time. This is often a perfect time to call, as you may have the opportunity to discuss dementia with a candidate live-on-air.

Engage candidates in conversation at an event or out in the community

Candidates are everywhere during election periods. Check your candidate’s website or social media page for any events they might be attending locally. 

You might also see them at the local supermarket, train station, or they may even come to your door. This is a great opportunity to raise the issue of dementia in your community.

Be prepared to share your personal experience with dementia – this will help demonstrate the importance of the issue.

 

Sample script:

Hi, my name is [Insert name], and I have been impacted by dementia.

Q: Are you aware that the prevalence of dementia is growing significantly in Australia?

Q: What is your party doing to ensure that people impacted by dementia receive the care and support they need?


Give them a call

When giving your local candidate a call, have a clear idea of what topics and issues you would like to raise with them. If you are unable to speak to the local candidate directly, you can leave a message with one of their staff members and send them a follow-up email or letter. 

 

Sample script:

Hi, my name is [Insert name], I am one of your electorate members and I have been impacted by dementia. Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in older Australians and the third leading cause of disability overall.

Q: Are you aware that the prevalence of dementia is growing significantly in Australia?

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that people impacted by dementia receive the care and support they need?
 


Follow up with Dementia Australia

Thank you for taking action and calling on your local candidate to address the needs of those living with and affected by dementia.

After you have made contact with your local candidate please do not hesitate to contact us at DementiaAustraliamedia@dementia.org.au. Let us know how your conversation went and if you would like any further guidance.


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Manifesto