News - 16 September 2021

Hot in the press: Community groups

Wilderness Society community teams have been focused on getting into their local papers, making the connection between local environmental issues and the federal government's continued failure to listen to communities and fix our national environment laws.

A selection of the published stories by community leaders.

People from across the organisation worked to develop media training materials and organisers worked with the community teams to build their media and writing skills.

Community leaders have so far managed to get 21 articles or letters to the editor published in local papers across the country.

65 leaders have now had a crack at drafting and pitching stories.

These articles efficiently tell leaders' personal stories of environmental concern and how they relate to both local and national issues.

"I'm continually blown away by the effort and skill Wilderness Society community groups bring to their work, and so grateful for the opportunity to work with such fantastic advocates for Australia's natural wonders," says Campaign Manager Suzanne Milthorpe. "Given all the changes to local media over the last few years, the community leaders have absolutely smashed the media training and got lots of stories published!"

"In July this year we decided that reaching out to local media was an effective way for our local community groups to continue to push for new nature laws that work," says Lead Community Organiser, Kaine Johnson. "We knew the teams had never done this type of thing before so we conservatively set a target of three letters to editors to be published. We had secret hopes we might be able to get over five.

"We introduced the idea to nearly 100 volunteers and a week later we ran a 90-minute workshop dedicated to providing them with the basic skills to get a letter to an editor published in a local paper.

"The turnout was great and the enthusiasm matched what we have come to expect from these amazing organisers. The feedback we received for the training was fantastic.

"Altogether, we are on track for in excess of 30 published letters or articles.

"Even more impressive is the fact that we now have the skills and relationships within our community teams to do this even more effectively next time around."

Below, a selection of the published pieces that have appeared online:

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