YES Voices is about people bringing people together to bridge the massive democratic gap between citizens and those who govern us. We are volunteers who believe our democracy can be revitalised if we as citizens reach out and work together to re-build trust in our representative democratic institutions - our House of Representatives and Senate.
YES Voices is part of a growing Australia-wide grassroots movement of citizens working to fix our democracy, electorate by electorate. People are showing each other, through the very act of respectfully engaging with each other, how to become active citizens with real agency and power. Citizens are reinvigorating democracy where it counts most, in our relationships with each other in our immediate communities. It is hard work, but worthwhile. Voices groups are bringing integrity, inclusion, transparency, accountability and true representation back to our democracy.
YES Voices is short for Yarra Valley, Ranges & Eastern Suburbs Voices. Our landscape has the magnificent Dandenong Ranges at its heart. The Dandenongs define the skyline of our cities, Knox, Maroondah and Whitehorse, and bookend the rolling hills, farmlands and tall green forests of the Yarra Valley. This landscape covers the electorates of Casey, Aston and Deakin where YES Voices is active.
YES Voices is using the Kitchen Table Conversation (KTC) model of community consultation used by the Voices of Indi. KTCs bring people together in a respectful environment to discuss issues that matter to them and their community. KTCs build relationships whilst identifying the issues of importance and concern to participants.
Anyone can participate in KTCs. Hosts and facilitators invite groups of 2-10 participants (friends, neighbours, family, workmates) to meet at home, in cafes or online. Register for a Kitchen Table Conversation (KTC) here.
YES Voices is following in the footsteps of successful Voices community groups in the electorates of Indi (in NE Victoria) and Warringah (suburb of Sydney). These Voices groups began with KTCs, and helped elect two stellar Independent MPs, Helen Haines and Zali Steggall, both of whom embody a new, respectful way of representing their communities in Parliament. With the issues clearly defined for them by the citizens in their electorates, these MPs are championing, amongst other things, parliamentary reforms to re-establish our trust in parliament (the establishment of an effective Australian Federal Integrity Commission [AFIC]) and meaningful action on climate change.
You are invited to join YES Voices - to sign up and turn up as together we renew democracy in the electorates of Casey, Aston & Deakin.
We are committed to building our base, building our network of 500+ engaged citizens by connecting with existing community networks. Over the 2021-22 summer we have a goal for 1,000 conversations to bloom across our region by organising 100 Kitchen Table Conversations.
Recognising the pending federal election in 2022, if you are interested in the community Independents movement YES Voices invites you to volunteer and get involved.
Democracy is turning up and listening.