Contents

Year in review

AEC overview

Report on performance: Outcome 1

Report on performance: Outcome 2

Report on performance: Outcome 3

Management and accountability

Appendices

References

Financial statements

Outcome 3 overview

Updated: 25 November 2010

Informed Australians through the provision of information services on electoral matters

Program structure

In 2009–10, Outcome 3 was delivered through three programs, as shown in Table 29.

Table 29 Outcome 3 programs and deliverables
Outcome

3 Informed Australians through the provision of information services on electoral matters

Programs

3.1 Electoral education

3.2 School and community programs

3.3 Communication strategies and services

Objectives

The provision of electoral education services to enhance knowledge and understanding of Australia's electoral system.

The provision of electoral education and information in schools and to community groups to enhance knowledge and understanding of Australia's electoral system.

Provide professional development and information for teachers and final year teaching students to assist their teaching of electoral education as part of the Civics and Citizenship curriculum in schools.

Provide timely and accurate electoral information to a range of target audiences, to encourage enrolment and participation in electoral events.

Deliverables

Program 3.1 will continue to deliver a variety of electoral education services supported by greater use of online technology to deliver supporting resource material.

Program 3.2 will include collaborating and partnering with other government instrumentalities in the delivery of quality civics education.

Program 3.3 will include the development of the AEC's communication strategy to support its conduct of the next federal election.

Greater use of current technology for delivery of modern products and services in line with community preferences for more online services.

The implementation of an Indigenous Electoral Participation Program.

Performance report

Pages 85–87

Pages 88–91

Pages 92–97

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Performance

The AEC's electoral education and public awareness activities in 2009–10 aimed to increase the number of people enrolled to vote, by influencing both enrolment behaviour and attitudes to electoral participation. The AEC:

  • explored alternative approaches to engage with the Australian community to address the decline in electoral participation that has been apparent in recent years
  • developed new programs that have regard to community expectations around the delivery of government information
  • continued to deliver programs to meet community needs.

The National Electoral Education Centre in Canberra delivered programs to groups from all regions of Australia. The centre was awarded the Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Award for Best Education Tourism Program 2009.

The School and Community Visits Program continued to reach a large number and wide cross-section of students and other community groups, through education sessions and AEC staff participation in events such as schools constitutional conventions. The recording and reporting functions of the program were streamlined during the year, through the implementation of a new online reporting database.

Your Vote Counts, the professional development program that delivers civics education strategies for teachers, continued to be well received. The number of participants was 1 445, 2.7 percent lower than in 2008–09.

As in previous years, Enrol to Vote Week successfully promoted enrolment among young Australians. Enrol to Vote Week is an opportunity for schools to register with the AEC and receive communication materials to support an in-school event where students complete enrolment forms. The AEC conducted the event and related publicity campaigns in July–August 2009 and May 2010. Registrations of schools were slightly higher in 2009 than in 2010.

The AEC's other public awareness activities, intended to inform eligible Australians of their enrolment responsibilities and encourage them to enrol, included:

  • participation in a range of community events, including the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee's NAIDOC Week, career expos, expos for young people, expos for seniors, and meetings of community groups such as Lions, Probus and VIEW (Voice, Interests and Education of Women) clubs
  • national media campaigns
  • more than 50 media releases.

The AEC produced a range of communication products to support the conduct of by-elections in the federal divisions of Bradfield and Higgins in December 2009. The products ranged from newspaper advertising and media releases to information booklets delivered to the homes of voters. For Bradfield, where there were 22 candidates for only the second time in electoral history, special communications products were used to address the increased risk of informal voting associated with large numbers of candidates.

To improve overall effectiveness and to prepare for the 2010 federal election, the AEC continued to update and improve the design of its corporate publications and intranet. Preparations for communication activities for the 2010 federal election, including the advertising and the media and public relations campaigns, also progressed.

As part of a whole-of-government initiative to bridge the gap of Indigenous disadvantage, the AEC worked in consultation with stakeholders to design the Indigenous Electoral Participation Program, which commenced work with the community in May 2010. The program aims to improve the participation of Indigenous Australians in the electoral process, through:

  • information and education products and programs, including fieldwork in remote locations
  • research to better identify and address enrolment and voting issues for Indigenous people
  • ongoing consultation with Indigenous communities, organisations and individuals, to determine the most appropriate education and enrolment activities for each local area.

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Outlook

To support the delivery of Outcome 3, the following activities are forecast for 2010–11:

  • delivering communications services for the 2010 federal election, including advertising, public relations, media relations, media monitoring, information materials (such as fact sheets and webpage content), issues management, email and telephony services
  • contributing to evaluation of advertising and public awareness activities such as
    • undertaking market research to evaluate the effectiveness of the federal election communications campaign
    • evaluating formality components of the federal election campaign
  • supporting the maintenance and growth of the electoral roll throughout the election cycle, by
    • supporting new and refined engagement activities aligned with the strategic approach articulated in the Mobilise the Franchise report
    • reviewing and revising the content of enrolment products to enhance the citizen's experience
  • reviewing the content of the AEC's intranet and the design of the AEC's public website
  • engaging with the community through
    • education programs, including the School and Community Visits Program, the National Electoral Education Centre and Your Vote Counts
    • new education-related activities
    • increased stakeholder engagement
  • providing corporate communications support and services, such as internal communications, advice, strategy, design, publishing and channel management
  • developing a program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the introduction of compulsory enrolment.