Writing and presenting a personal submission


A submission is a fancy word for saying what you think about a draft law. You can write about it, talk about it to MPs, or even make a song and a dance about it (although I have still never actually seen an interpretative dance – I wonder what that would be like?!).

PSA Member David Do on writing and presenting a personal submission.

Telling your own story is the best thing to do if you will be personally affected by the draft law. At the end of the day you know best how you feel, what you know, and what you think.

You can also submit on a draft law if you are concerned about this affects others - by talking with your friends, family, and work colleagues, you will know how a draft law might affect them.

You should ask to do an oral submission if you put in a written submission. An oral submission is one of the best ways to convince and make MPs understand your point of view.

It gives you the chance to expand and reinforce some of the things you may have put in your written submission. Go beyond what you wrote in your submission - make the issue come alive! For example, if you mentioned the impact on young workers by the draft law in your submission, you can tell a few stories about how this has and will affect you or your friends in the real world.

Nerves are always normal - I get them before I do any public speaking even though I have done it many times before. The important thing is to be prepared - know what you want to say and why you're saying it.

MPs that are supportive of your position are more likely to ask questions. They will usually be questions that encourage you to expand on the points you have made. I find that MPs that are opposed to your position rarely ask questions.

So if you're asked about “making a submission”, just do it. Your thoughts, stories, and experiences count as much as anyone else. Its your voice – use it!