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Case Studies

Photograph of a billboard advertising Winfield cigarettes. The billboard advertising reads 'Anyhow... Winfield 25s'. Graffiti has been inserted so it reads 'Anyhow buga up a Winfield 25'.

BUGA-UP

Formed in 1979, Billboard Utilising Graffitists Against Unhealthy Promotions (BUGA-UP) made its mark on hoardings around the nation. By revising advertising slogans and disrupting tobacco-sponsored events, the group revealed the true cost of tobacco and alcohol company deception.

Uncle Kevin Buzzacott stands in front of a large banner depicting a black hand against a red and yellow nuclear symbol.

Interview with Kevin Buzzacott

Kevin Buzzacott is a key figure in the opposition to the South Australian Olympic Dam mine and the nuclear industry in general. In this interview he outlines a number of the creative actions he has taken part in as part of a series of campaigns addressing the issues of dispossession and Aboriginal sovereignty.

A collage of photographs taken with people featured on the ChangeMakers podcast.

Introduction to ChangeMakers Podcast

The ChangeMakers podcast is short series podcast that tells stories about people who are striving for social change across the world. This post introduces the series and includes the catalogue of episodes.

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ChangeMakers 1.1: Making the Impossible Possible

The story of the Fight for 15 campaign in the US which is radically changing the way low-wage workers fight for better conditions. Then we look at the roots of the radical politics that is sweeping Barcelona – and examine their attempts to “empower the street”.

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ChangeMakers 1.5 When Anger Works Part 2

The story of the Lady Cilento Hospital vigil which turned into a national flashpoint that overturned a decade of political consensus on Australia’s refugee policy. Remarkably, when they began the organisers of the vigil didn’t know what they were aiming to achieve.

Cover of Iain McIntyre's 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: The AIDEX '91 Story'.

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: The AIDEX ’91 Story

In 1991 over 1000 protesters blockaded the National Exhibition Centre in Canberra with the goal of shutting down the Australia International Defence Exhibition. This book includes a detailed account of the blockade, the context of the growth of the Australian arms industry, and the words of the protesters themselves.

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ChangeMakers 1.6: Protesting in Putin’s Russia

This episode looks at how to organise genuine opposition in a place where the one thing they hate is genuine opposition. How a small protest against destruction of a local park turned into a mass movement that’s sweeping Russia.

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ChangeMakers 1.7: Fighting Dirty – Standing Rock

What would you do if someone wanted to bulldoze an oil pipeline through your country, threatening not just your land, but your water and air? And what if the nation backing them had a history of playing dirty? That’s the situation the people in today’s episode found themselves in. The battle over building an oil pipeline in Standing Rock in South Dakota, USA.

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ChangeMakers 1.8: The Power of Vision

What does it take to improve the lives of millions of people? The late Fred Hollows knew. He was known across the globe for his groundbreaking work in disrupting the global medical establishment, and his legacy lives on among the doctors he inspired. What does it take to achieve transformation at this kind of scale?

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ChangeMakers 1.9: Fighting the Hard Right

In 2016, GetUp, an organisation best known for its online petitions and email campaigns, decided to go offline. They came up a strategy to remove extreme conservative politicians from the Australian parliament. One of the places they went to was the seat of Bass in Northern Tasmania.

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Changemakers 2.2: Umbrella Movement

In 2014 Hong Kong hundreds of thousands of citizens staged a mass street occupation demanding the vote. Why did it happen? And what led to tensions building inside the movement overtime?

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ChangeMakers 2.3: Indivisible

This is the origin story of the largest anti-Trump organisation in America and how it built a mass based local movement to save affordable healthcare.

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ChangeMakers 2.4: Reclaim the City

In Cape Town, apartheid pushed black residents to the edge of the city. Reclaim the city is a movement pushing back, desegregating the city through strategic long term occupations.

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ChangeMakers 2.5: Marriage Equality

The road to marriage equality in Australia was filled with dirty tricks and homophobia. How did the LGBTI community build a movement strong enough to overcome it all?

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ChangeMakers 2.6: Fair Treatment

What is a church doing running a facility where illegal drugs can be used openly? And why? An exploration of the medically supervised injecting centre based in Kings Cross in Sydney Australia and the community pressure which led to it opening.

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ChangeMakers 2.7: Homes for the Homeless

How do we overcome chronic long term homelessness? Listen to this episode about a campaign which decided to set an absurdly ambitious goal to try and solve the homelessness problem.

Black and white photograph of a group of men marching with arms interlinked. Banner reads 'Support BLF Green Bans'.

Green Bans

In the 1970s Sydney builders labourers refused to work on projects that were environmentally or socially undesirable. This green bans movement, as it became known, was the first of its type in the world.