Role and function

The AEC is an independent statutory authority established by the Australian Government. It is funded to deliver one purpose and one outcome:

Maintain an impartial and independent electoral system for eligible voters through active electoral roll management, efficient delivery of polling services, and targeted education and public awareness programs.

The AEC has one program:

1.1 To deliver electoral events.

Its functions are:

  • conducting successful electoral events, including federal elections, by-elections and referendums, and industrial and commercial elections
  • ensuring confidence in the electoral roll
  • administering political party registrations and financial disclosure
  • supporting electoral redistributions
  • undertaking public awareness activities

The AEC must also provide a range of electoral information and education programs both in Australia and in support of Australia’s national interests.

More information on the AEC’s functions is in section 4.

Organisational structure

The Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers, is appointed under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and is responsible for managing and operating the AEC. The Electoral Commissioner is the AEC’s Accountable Authority and works as part of the Executive Leadership Team to manage the organisation.

At 30 June the AEC’s Executive Leadership Team was:

  • Tom Rogers, Electoral Commissioner
  • Jeff Pope APM, Deputy Electoral Commissioner
  • Andrew Gately, First Assistant Commissioner
  • Tim Courtney, First Assistant Commissioner

An organisational chart that includes senior executive and their responsibilities is provided below.

The AEC has a three-tier structure with:

  • a national office in Canberra
  • state and territory offices
  • divisional offices

Section 6 of the Electoral Act established a three-person Commission which has exclusive powers, particularly in relation to electoral redistributions, political party registration, and funding and disclosure.

At 30 June the members of the Commission were:

  • Chairperson: Hon. Dennis Cowdroy OAM QC
  • Electoral Commissioner: Tom Rogers
  • Non-judicial member: David Kalisch
Senior Executive 2017-18
Back row left to right: Martyn Hagan, Thomas Ryan, Paul Pirani, David Lang, Warwick Austin, Steve Kennedy, Gabrielle Paten, Jonathan Nicholl, Fleur Hill, David Molnar Front row, left to right: Anna Stewart, Stephen Blackburn, Andrew Gately, Tom Rogers, Jeff Pope, Robyn Legg, Lynn White Absent: Tim Courtney
Back row left to right: Martyn Hagan, Thomas Ryan, Paul Pirani, David Lang, Warwick Austin, Steve Kennedy,
Gabrielle Paten, Jonathan Nicholl, Fleur Hill, David Molnar
Front row, left to right: Anna Stewart, Stephen Blackburn, Andrew Gately, Tom Rogers, Jeff Pope, Robyn Legg, Lynn White
Absent: Tim Courtney

AEC organisation chart

Organisation chart