Sydney Mum celebrates petition win

Sydney Mum celebrates petition win

Paula Orbea never dreamed her online petition would reach the Australian senate. The Sydney mum and school teacher started an online petition to the founder of Wicked Campers after her 11-year-old daughter was exposed to a highly demeaning message on one of their campervans.    Her daughter made an official complaint to the Advertising Standards […]

By Katrina RoeThursday 17 Jul 2014Hope Mornings

Paula Orbea never dreamed her online petition would reach the Australian senate. The Sydney mum and school teacher started an online petition to the founder of Wicked Campers after her 11-year-old daughter was exposed to a highly demeaning message on one of their campervans. 

Sydney Mum celebrates her win against Wicked Campers. 

Her daughter made an official complaint to the Advertising Standards Board, but Paula noticed that Wicked Campervans had not responded to previous complaints, even when they had been upheld by the Advertising Standards Board.  “They actually have no power to enforce the taking down of any advertising. They can only suggest that it has crossed ethical codes, but they actually have no power.” Paula told Hope Mornings she believed it was time for action on a governmental level. 

Just four days later, her petition had received more than 115,000 signatures and prompted the Australian Senate to move a motion condemning the sexist slogans and demanding they be removed within six months.

“I was just gobsmacked,” Paula told Hope Mornings.  “The fact that the motion was passed was just incredible.”

The originally defiant company has now issued an apology to Paula and committed to removing the misogynistic slogans.

“I had to re-read the first sentence over because it said, ‘We’d just like to compliment you on your poise and intelligence and passion in your campaign against us.’ And I read that first sentence and I thought, ‘What?’ but they were very complimentary actually.”

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“I’m actually in a bit of a daze to be honest. I feel like it’s surreal. Because I’m back at school and I’m teaching, it feels like life is normal and on the other hand this amazing victory has happened.”

“I just don’t know if anything like that has happened before, with such a strong response from people.  The action has happened on so many levels, just from one petition”, Paula said.

While there has been some negative backlash, overall the response has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“There’s got to be a line and I think it really resonated with people that a) that line was crossed and b) it offended an 11-year-old girl.”

Paula hopes her success will inspire others to find ways to make their voice heard.

Listen Now: Paula Orbea explains her protest against Wicked Campers.

Listen Now: Paula Orbea celebrates her win against Wicked Campers.