Culture

‘If Not You, Then Who?’ Sally Rugg On Empathy And Activism

Change.org's Executive Director on effective change making, reflections from the marriage equality campaign and her new book.

By Emily Brooks

Culture

Change.org's Executive Director on effective change making, reflections from the marriage equality campaign and her new book.

By Emily Brooks

LGBTIQ rights activist, writer and speaker Sally Rugg has had a strong sense of empathy and justice since she was a child. She was in Year One in Western Australia when she protested “the bypass” being built in her beloved Fremantle. “And we won, is the end of that story,” Rugg told a crowd of laughter at Future Women’s Melbourne Social Club. “So I do remember from a really early age, being like, ‘No, you can make signs and go in a march and then you win’.”

Rugg graduated from primary school protesting to study communication and culture studies at university. She later began a masters in broadcast journalism which she never finished. While doing her masters she scored a job one day a week at political activist group, GetUp, where she called monthly donors whose credit cards had expired. Two weeks’ later she was promoted, eventually becoming the GetUp Campaign Director where she led the marriage equality campaign for five years. It’s a campaign she’s since written an entire book about.

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