Name Your Change
ACRATH’s successful first ‘Name Your Change’ zoom morning tea has led to serious moves to slavery-proof some of Victoria’s political hubs. About 25 people from around Australia ‘popped’ in for a cuppa and to ‘name their change in 2021’. ACRATH wants this morning tea campaign to be another step into ‘slavery proofing’ homes and workplaces. It’s a small spend item but has the possibility to engage everyone in the knowledge that there is slavery in our supply chains and there is something we can do about it.
One exciting outcome from the morning tea is the enthusiasm of some politicians to push for slavery-free staffrooms. One Victorian politician, Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas, couldn’t attend the morning tea, but asked her staff to participate with support from ACRATH member Marg Leahy. Mary-Anne met with Marg over coffee (pictured) before the event to discuss ways of making her Macedon electoral office slavery-free and how to influence change beyond her office. Ms Thomas, speaking in Parliament on 3 March said: It is this week that my electorate team and I have committed to learn more about modern slavery and to support awareness raising and action in my electorate.
Following the zoom morning tea ACRATH’s newly formed Victorian Advocacy Group is also hoping to encourage politicians to make their staffrooms slavery-free. Group members have written to their local MPs asking them to consider going slavery-free and offering to support their efforts. ACRATH has a range of resources to support schools, workplaces, parishes, communities and families wanting to make their staffroom/kitchen slavery-free, including a kit, with tips on how to introduce slavery-free tea and coffee, a sourcing guide and testimonials from those who have made the change to slavery-free.
It is estimated that over 40 million people globally are trapped in slavery or slavery-like conditions – one in four of them a child. Some of these are trafficked into slavery and others forced to work in appalling conditions for a pittance. Much of the coffee and tea we drink, and the cocoa used in the chocolate we eat and drink, can be traced back to these children and adults working in conditions of slavery.
Are you making a change in your home or workplace to buy slavery-free products? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was published in ACRATH’s April 2021 Newsletter. Read the newsletter in full here.