The provision of electoral education services to enhance knowledge and understanding of Australia's electoral system.
Through interactive education, visitors to the National Electoral Education Centre (NEEC) in Canberra learn about elections, the concept of democracy and the history of Australia's federal system of representative government.
Experienced electoral educators present sessions for school students, new citizens and community groups. The sessions offer attendees an opportunity to participate in a simulated election or referendum and to learn about preferential and formal voting through hands-on experience.
Table 30 summarises the AEC's results against performance information set out for Program 3.1 in the 2009–10 Portfolio Budget Statements.
|Key performance indicators||Targets||Results|
|Annual number of visitors to the National Electoral Education Centre (NEEC)||74 000 visitors||90 130 visitors|
|Number of NEEC sessions delivered per annum||2 000 sessions||2 515 sessions|
|Variety of service delivery options promoting public awareness of electoral matters||Variety of service delivery options promoting public awareness of electoral matters identified||The NEEC delivered information through audio visuals, facilitator-led presentations and activities, and hands-on self-learning options.|
The NEEC delivered programs for school-aged children, including students from remote areas; young people on work experience programs; and people who speak languages other than English at home.
AEC staff encouraged teachers to follow up their students' experience at the centre, by directing them to the range of teaching resources on the AEC website.
The NEEC staff demonstrated programs to delegations of electoral officials and educators from Bangladesh, Jordan and Zambia, and provided AEC education materials to their counterparts in Indonesia and Nepal.
The NEEC's marketing focus was directed at local and interstate teachers and tour operators. The NEEC services were promoted at education open days and special sessions for visiting teacher groups, and through flyers and advertisements.
A total of 90 130 people visited the NEEC in 2009–10, an increase of 9 percent on the total of 82 631 visitors in 2008–09. Visitors to the centre came from 149 of Australia's 150 electoral divisions.
Figure 10 Trends in National Electoral Education Centre visitor numbers, 2000–01 to 2009–10
|Visitor group||No. of visitors||No. of sessions|
|Primary students||62 876||67 002||72 602||1 942||2 059||2 159|
|Junior secondary students||4 469||4 602||6 108||157||156||203|
|Senior secondary students||3 683||3 862||3 764||135||139||132|
|Accompanying adults||6 732||6 951||7 403||–||–||–|
|Total||78 081||82 631||90 130||2 251||2 371||2 515|
In 2009–10, there was high demand for the NEEC services with visitor numbers increasing by 9 percent. The NEEC operated near capacity and visitor numbers exceeded expectations.
The Eligible Elector program was in particular demand from senior secondary school groups. The program participants take part in a mock election for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The NEEC seeks evaluation from every group that visits the centre, through a formal survey provided to teachers, adult visitors and students. The survey seeks feedback on the session overall, the presentation and whether the session meets curriculum needs. Surveys were completed by at least one adult and two students from each education session. They showed that 98 percent of surveyed visitors were either satisfied or very satisfied with their experience at the centre.
The NEEC won the Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Award for Best Education Tourism Program 2009. The annual awards are open to all tourism businesses in the Canberra region, and promote, encourage and reward excellence. The award won by the NEEC recognised the quality and innovation of the NEEC's education services and highlighted the centre's standing in Canberra's competitive tourist market.