Passing the Message Stick is a First Nations-led research project designed to shift public narrative in support of First Nations justice and self-determination. In 2023 the latest research has been launched on persuasive messaging to build widespread support for transformative change, like treaties, truth-telling and representation, now and beyond the referendum. This guide builds on previous research completed in 2021.
How to use this Guide
First and foremost, this guide is designed for storytellers. It’s for First Nations advocates and allies, for community organisers and leaders of grassroots movements, it’s for journalists, policy-makers, decision-makers and anyone who uses the power of story to generate change.
It’s divided into four chapters that are best understood and applied together. Here’s what’s included:
- Chapter 1: The moment we’re in
We’re in an unprecedented moment of opportunity: the national mood is on our side, and there’s a huge groundswell of support for First Nations justice. Read this chapter to understand the social and political context about the moment we’re working within.
- Chapter 2: How to win a narrative
Read this to understand the theory and methodology that underpin the project. You’ll find an overview of why messaging matters, advice on how narratives work and how to shift them, plus insights into our audience segmentation and research methodology. This chapter also includes a recap of the foundational messaging recommendations we released in 2021, proven to build support for First Nations justice and self-determination.
- Chapter 3: Messaging recommendations
Chapter 3 includes practical advice drawn from our findings. While the context and theory is valuable, if you’re pressed for time, we recommend skipping ahead to this chapter. It’s packed full of practical tips, including five recommendations for your messages, advice on the strongest frames from the research, plus insights on how to craft messages, do truth-telling and understand First Nations audiences. Read the recommendations for practical advice on how to shift your messaging in line with a strength and values-based narrative.
- Chapter 4: Conversation toolkit
Chapter 4 is a practical resource to guide your conversations with family, friends, colleagues and members of your community. You’ll find principles of persuasion, an overview of common concerns and some frequently asked questions with suggested answers.
The words we use to tell our stories matter. When we share our strengths, solutions and vision for change, we build widespread support for the changes our communities have been calling for, for decades.
Here is a sneak peak of what is in the guide.
- Passing the Message Stick: Messages that build widespread public support for transformative change on First Nations justice, now and beyond the referendum (57 pgs)
The full yarn on how we win transformative change.
- Passing the Message Stick: Conversation Guide (11 pgs)
Learn principles of persuasion, frameworks to lead your own persuasive conversations as well as example Q&As and issue-based conversation structures to inform your own conversations.
- Passing the Message Stick: Summary Guide (6 pgs)
- Messaging 101: Why Messaging Matters
- See the full set of resources, including a social media pack and template copy
- Methodology and Timeline of Research
- Framing Issues for Social Justice Impact: Directory of Messaging Guides
- How to Change the Narrative / Story
- First Nations Resources: Start Here
- Aboriginal Australians
- Communication - Messaging
- Framing - Guides_Manuals
- Indigenous peoples_First Nations
- Movements_Campaigns - Indigenous Peoples_First Nations rights
- Referendum (2023 : Australia)