Charities Services registration number: CC29619

Become a Citizen Advocate

The most important thing about any Citizen Advocacy relationship is the quality of the “match”.
Once we have identified the needs of the person who needs support, we can determine what qualities, skills and life experiences are likely to be desirable in a potential advocate.
Almost always things like gender, age and where you live are fundamental considerations when finding the right person to play a specific role in someone’s life. Experience tells us that if we get these basics wrong, the relationship has little chance of working out.

Beyond that, it is very much whether you have the:
  • Personality
  • Attitude
  • Character
  • Personal experiences
  • Professional experiences
  • Life skills
...that the role is likely to demand and the particular person is likely to need. We discover this by spending time with you, discussing your life experiences and gaining an understanding of what you might bring to a Citizen Advocacy relationship.
  • We don’t require any formal qualifications or training
  • We don’t seek people with previous experience in caring professions or human services
  • We don’t look for people who know a lot about disability
  • We are looking for people with a sense of social justice
  • We do want people who are willing to make a long term commitment
  • We are seeking individuals who want to make a difference through a unique form of community service.
All new citizen advocates are thoroughly prepared for their roles before they are introduced to the person they will be matched with. This preparation includes learning about:
  • Common experiences of people with intellectual disability
  • Heightened vulnerability
  • Why advocacy is important
  • Roles of a citizen advocate
  • Principles and practical implications of Citizen Advocacy
  • Importance of roles in our lives
  • Image and competency
  • The right of citizen advocates to act
  • The legal status of citizen advocates
  • Common struggles of citizen advocates
  • What we ask of citizen advocates 

Orientation is generally conducted over three, 60-90 minute sessions prior to being matched, and the education, development, and support of advocates is ongoing. 
Interested in learning more about becoming a citizen advocate? Please contact us
2012 xmas party Petro and Susan
Tania and Heather - Citizen Advocacy Auckland
John Armstrong and Bob Lee discuss some issues concerning advocacy for vulnerable people with disability.

"Citizen Advocacy is an example of how ordinary people are asked to respond to people with a disability who are at risk of social isolation, and who need to have their interests represented. Citizen Advocacy is a community effort by a group of local citizens who are committed to the idea of acceptance and justice for people with a disability. They are people who believe that ordinary citizens can and will when they are asked to do so, respond to the needs of vulnerable people with a disability in their community." - Bob Lee, (Coordinator Sunshine Coast)