four-week national action strategy

Week 1

Recruitment stage; talk to 5 friends who are not Green voters about why you're voting Green

Week 2

Make our impact; Photo petition with Greens “I care about clean energy/education/refugees/marriageequality/the environment” signs

Week 3

Take to the streets Twitter storm; talk to people about what they care about it and tweet under #thismatters

Week 4

Spread our message; forums on digital rights, uni cuts, and climate change.

With an election looming, the Victorian Young Greens organised the conference and speakers to focus on organising volunteers and campaign teams including lessons from the recent presidential campaigns in the US, how Adam Bandt's campaign team were using these to retain the seat Melbourne, as well as inspirational discussions from seasoned campaigners.

During the first day we were very lucky to have Bob Brown speak to us about his long history of activism and campaigning and what makes a successful campaign. Following the session with Bob Brown we ran a workshop focused on planning Australian Young Greens action in the lead up to the election. This resulted in a four week national action campaign strategy, successfully implemented by the AYG (see box for details of this campaign).

On the second day we were joined by Greens Leader Christine Milne who was our keynote speaker. Senator Milne discussed with delegates her history of successful campaigning and spent time answering many questions from the audience. This session with Senator Milne led into a series of workshops about campaign messaging strategy and a discussion about third-party politics.

A Victorian MPs panel in the afternoon of the second day gave delegates the chance to hear debate and discussion between Adam Bandt and Richard Di Natale as well as Greg Barber, Colleen Hartland and Sue Pennicuik from the Victorian State parliament. Following this we had a comprehensive campaign planning workshop presented by Victorian Greens' Campaign Manager Kymberlie Dimazantos where delegates were led through planning a campaign from scratch.

Our last session for the day was a surprise visit by Senator Scott Ludlam who led an informal discussion on the various digital rights campaigns in which Scott has been crucially engaged.

The final day of the conference began with a social media strategy workshop by anti-homophobia campaigner Jason Ball followed by a youth leadership presentation from Victorian Greens State Director (and Founder of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership) Larissa Brown.

We held workshops on the 'Organising to Win' approach taken by the Melbourne campaign and on the Australian Young Greens Terms of Reference and how it should be amended. Our final session was about women's involvement in the Greens run by lead Senate candidate (and now Senator-elect) Janet Rice.

Where to from here?

The conference was well attended, with 55 young Greens members coming from almost every state and territory. Feedback for the organising sessions was overwhelmingly positive.

The most significant outcome of the conference was our four week national action campaign. The campaign consisted of a specific action to be taken in each week leading up to the Federal election. While some states were able to implement the four-week campaign more successfully than others, this was seen as a good start to the AYG's national organising and a great template for future campaigns.

James Searle is the Co-Convenor of the Australian Young Greens and a member of the Australian Greens Victoria.