Southern Cross University is proud to offer this ground breaking course in Public Interest Advocacy and social change activism as part of its innovative Byron Bay Summer Law School initiative.

Aidan Ricketts addressing participants at the Bentley blockade.

Aidan Ricketts addressing participants at the Bentley blockade.

This unique study offering is all about promoting participatory democracy and developing the skills for successfully advocating for public interest concerns. It is a multi-disciplinary course which explores a wide range of different perspectives.

This unit will be presented by Southern Cross University law lecturer, Aidan Ricketts, author of the internationally published “Activists’ Handbook, A Step by Step Guide to Participatory Democracy”.

The unit is informed by Aidan’s ongoing research and engagement in community campaigns and is an excellent way for students to add a unique and highly practical advocacy component to their chosen field of study. Since publishing the Activist’s Handbook, Aidan has continued to build his experience through ongoing research in Australia and the UK and through engagement with a number of community based campaigns including Lock the Gate, Gasfield free Northern Rivers and the ground-breaking Bentley Blockade.

An aerial view of Gate A at the Bentley blockade.

An aerial view of Gate A at the Bentley blockade.

The teaching explores personal empowerment, social movements, conflict mapping, litigation, citizens’ rights and protest as well as deeper theory behind social change processes. Rapidly emerging fields such as digital activism and corporate campaigning are also included.

The unit “Public Interest Advocacy” is fully University accredited, and can be counted towards undergraduate degrees in a number of disciplines, including Law, Arts, Social Sciences and more. The unit can be undertaken by any students who have already completed any eight (8) units at the tertiary level. If you wish to study this unit but you have no current or prior university study history please also contact our staff to discuss your options.

The face to face component of the Unit runs for one week in December 13-18 2015 in Byron Bay, followed by a take home exam in early January and a major assignment due in late January 2016. The assignment is a practically based project that requires students to prepare a comprehensive strategic campaign plan for an activist or campaign group of their choosing.

PIA_15-datePlaces in Summer Law School units are strictly limited so you should apply as soon as possible. (Go to

For more information contact:

Dale Strong :02 66203104


Ahri“This course is amazing!

As a young person who left University to pursue activism this was a perfect program that combined the academic rigour of University with the practical and relevant knowledge and skills needed to be an effective activist.

I am now employed as a campaigner to stop coal export expansion in Nth Qld and am so grateful to have had such a great opportunities to prepare me. The deep and well explained content, the balance of learning styles that are catered for and the idyllic setting make this program an essential for any up and coming radical”

Ahri Tallon 2012


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