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It took a while, but the Senate vote has finally been counted!

Our national primary vote was 45,000 which is pretty fantastic. We’ve been in existence for only 2 ½ years and our core team can still fit around Jac’s dining table! We reckon we punched above our weight.

Our ultimate goal is to get Jason elected to the Senate and, while that didn’t happen this time, we’re confident we made a significant impact this election.

Jason & Jacqui

We ran a really positive campaign that highlighted some of the great things about our community, as well as shining a light on the many things that need to change. Our suite of LGBTIQ policies is a significant achievement – there’s nothing else like it – and we’re pleased to say we saw bits of it popping up in other political party’s policy platforms!

We ran a great social media campaign. Our Auslan interpreted video sent other parties hurrying off to find interpreters; our ‘Australian Christian Lobby does not speak for me’ clipwas viewed 100,000 times; and our ‘How to vote in the Senate’ animate made people laugh while explaining which boxes to tick! At its peak, our social media reach was 100,000+ on Facebook and almost 200,000 on Twitter.

Jason and our other candidates spoke at dozens of events and did a lot of media highlighting the issues we care about and getting our messages out. We helped make equality for our community the significant election issue it became. We raised the profile of our community and consulted with many community groups that had never before had the chance to engage directly with a political party.

A last minute corporate donation enabled us to run our ad on SBS, have two high-profile billboards and cover the city with thousands of AEP posters. One hundred plus people staffed 50 polling booths on Election Day and handed out ‘How to Vote’ cards.

And we couldn’t have done any of this without your support. We want to say a huge “Thank you!” for all your donating, marching, tweeting, liking, sharing, viewing, persuading, volunteering and voting! You did us proud. Thanks.

So what’s next? Well we’ve all had a bit of break to recharge and now we’re back sitting around Jac’s dining table! We’re going to find the best way to support the ‘No Plebiscite’ campaign and continue to push for a free vote on marriage equality. We are going to continue to challenge the Christian right – see www.kathybaldock.in for details of one upcoming project – and support rainbow families in the difficult times ahead.  And we’re going to speak to as many of the new, colourful crossbenchers as possible to ensure they are educated about the needs and experiences of our community.

Stay tuned for more!

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Jacqueline Tomlins
Jac Tomlins is a writer, trainer and long-time campaigner for LGBTIQ rights. She has been an outspoken advocate for the community for many years, speaking on radio and TV and publishing in a range of LGBTIQ and mainstream publications. She is one of the founding members of the Australian Equality Party.