Getting in touch

What information can others provide?

Interviewing, surveying, talking and writing to people who have an interest in your issue or challenge can help you clarify your own ideas and opinions. Before you embark on contacting others, be very clear about the information you wish to obtain from them. Make sure your questions are well structured and relevant.


PTD-web-expertAn expert is someone who knows a lot about a topic. They have spent years researching it, writing about it and advising others.


You can create online surveys, which are easy to distribute and to collate. A survey is a good way of understanding what those affected by an issue think about it and, possibly, how it can be solved. Survey data can be used to support your claim for change.

Person in chargePTD-web-leader

A person who is responsible for an issue might provide you with insight regarding anything that has already been done about it, or if any plans are made for the future. They may have ideas on how you should approach your campaign.


Talking to people affected by the issue can help in deepening your understanding of it. Recorded interviews can provide a personal story behind the issue that others may respond to more than if it were just the facts.

Public ServantsPTD-web-public-servant

Public servants, who are people working in government departments, administer and create policies around our laws. If you want to know what is currently in place and what the governments’ responsibility is around a particular issue or challenge, you can contact the department that deals with it.


Contacting an activist or lobbyist on a particular issue or challenge can provide you with insight on what has worked for them in the past. They can also explain any information and data about your issue or challenge that you don’t understand. It is still important to form your own balanced viewpoint based on evidence.

Your turn!

Have a look at the following scenarios. Think about who would be the best person or group of people to contact before deciding on a plan of action.

1. You would like to change the menu in your canteen. At least one day should be a healthy eating day. This will be good for students and teachers. You will write a letter to a principal requesting a change. But, with who should you consult first?

2. The local animal shelter is becoming overcrowded as more and more animals are brought in. This means that in order to accommodate the new arrivals the shelter needs to put down the older animals who have not been adopted. You are not happy with this situation and would like to speak with a person in charge. Who would that be?

3. Your local buses do not run very frequently, and they often miss your connection to the train that takes you to school or TAFE. The buses only need to run a couple of minutes earlier in order to make it. Who can help you with this problem?

Please note

When making contact with adults outside your school you should always speak to your teacher or parent first. It is always good to pass your idea by someone, as they might offer you advice on how to handle and approach people.