4 things that restored our faith in humanity this week

In these bloody tough times, we need stories that gives us tingles of the spine variety and bumps of the goose variety.

Here at the Change.org Aus office, these 4 stories this week had us air punching in the name of people power:

1. Australia’s first ever bank note for blind people was released this week thanks to Connor, 15

“When I first found out Connor was blind, I crawled into a ball in and cried my eyes out”.  Ally, Connor’s mum, needn’t have worried that being blind would hold her boy back. This week her teenage son, “my superstar” made history. 

Many thought the new fiver was ugly It’s actually beautiful because of some tiny, barely visible bumps. Connor’s Change.org petition took on Australia’s toughest institution - the Reserve Bank. He persuaded them to put tactile markings on bank-notes so vision-impaired people like him could tell the difference. At first, they said no - even though they already printed notes with tactile markings for many other countries! 

Connor didn’t take no for an answer. A trip to Parliament, a high court case and 57,000 signatures later, victory was his. An artist even put his face on a fun re-design of the note in honour of Connor’s achievement:

2. Consumers will save almost $1 billion a year in annoying fees thanks to Klaus

From this week, big businesses aren't allowed to charge you hefty surcharges when you buy something on your card.

The cap on these pesky fees is largely thanks to Klaus, who used Change.org to campaign for three years. He felt pissed off on behalf of all consumers when he discovered that Jetstar charged 2670% above what it costs for them to process a sale on your credit card for . Now they can only charge 1 - 1.5%.

Thanks to Klaus’s dogged efforts, consumers will now save almost $1 billion a year. 

Cheers, Klaus!

3. Gerard Baden-Clay, who killed his wife has manslaughter verdict upgraded to murder after huge petition pressure

“Perhaps we should just do away with the legal system?” frothed journalist John Birmingham in Fairfax newspapers at those protesting the leniency of Gerard Baden-Clay’s manslaughter verdict for killing his wife, Allison. “Why bother with courts after all, when a couple of thousand angry punters are on hand with pitchforks?”

Many of the ‘mob’ were the 121,000 signers of Nicole’s petition to “appeal the decision reducing Gerard Baden-Clay's murder conviction to manslaughter.” This week, his murder verdict was reinstated. 

Nicole encouraged many of her petition signers to take to the streets of Brisbane in a rally led by TV personality Lisa Wilkinson that said: violence against women should never be excused. John Birmingham may call it ‘mob rule.’ We prefer to call it ‘people power.’

4. 12-year-old girl beats her bullies by sparking national anti-bullying movement

“I'm the most unpopular kid at school and people make my life a living hell” wrote Tayla, 12, on her petition which asked: “School bullying is killing me, please help.” 

Following her petition, Tayla’s mum wrote “Tayla is going to print out every caring comment made on her petition and fill her entire wall with them. She reads every one.”

The week after the petition, a Facebook group formed who arranged to meet Tayla from school and walk her home.

Since then, Tayla has inspired other families to speak out against bullying. In a TV special this week, Tayla spoke alongside a family who lost their daughter to suicide following bullying. This sparked a new national anti-bullying movement to do more to tackle this urgent problem in our schools. 

Tayla’s bravery inspired many and she spoke on TV about looking forward to starting a new life in Cairns.