Extension activity

Present a petition to the Australian Parliament.


  1. As a class identify an issue on which your students feel the Australian Parliament should take action. It might be local, national or global. You might like to choose something that is relevant to your current study or the broader curriculum.
  2. With students, draft your petition. This will be your request to the Parliament.
  3. Decide if your petition is going to be a paper petition or an e-petition, and whether it will be presented in the House of Representatives or the Senate. You can check the requirements for petitions and learn how to start an e-petition on the Australian Parliament House Petitions webpage. Double check the rules for presenting a petition to the House of Representatives and the rules for presenting a petition to the Senate.
  4. Once your petition is drafted, set a deadline for collecting signatures—for example, 2 weeks.
  5. Start collecting signatures. The more signatures a petition has, the clearer it is that this issue is important to a large number of people. Try the following strategies to encourage people to sign your petition:
    1. Talk to people in your school and local community about the issue and ask them to sign.
    2. If your petition is online, you can ask a parent or guardian to help share a link on social media. Remember to ensure you include a clear explanation of why the issue is important and how your proposed solution will help.
    3. Ask your local member or your senators to share your petition.
    4. Email a link to your petition to friends and family and ask them to sign.
    5. Brainstorm your own creative strategies for reaching people who may be concerned about the issue.
  6. If you are hoping to have your petition tabled – presented – in the Australian Parliament, you may like to ask one of your representatives to present it for you. Senate petitions must be presented by a senator. You can find information about your representatives and how to contact them on the Senators and members page of the Australian Parliament House website.

What happened?

  1. Did your petition receive as many signatures as you hoped? Why do you think this is?
  2. What did the Parliament do with your petition?
  3. Where was information about the petition published?


Even if your petition was not acted upon, what were the benefits from collecting signatures and presenting your petition?