The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on behalf of the Electoral Council of Australia and New Zealand (ECANZ), hosted a four-day BRIDGE workshop – Introduction to Electoral Administration – at the AEC’s training facility at Essendon Fields, Melbourne, Victoria from 15 - 18 October 2018.
The 24 workshop participants from the AEC, the New South Wales Electoral Commission (NSWEC), the New Zealand Electoral Commission (NZEC), the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ), the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) and the Australian Capital Territory Electoral Commission (Elections ACT) engaged in a range of activities designed to achieve key understandings in the internationally accepted principles of electoral administration, including values and ethics, electoral systems, electoral education/voter information, access to electoral participation, Electoral Management Bodies (EMB) structures and the conduct of elections.
Following BRIDGE methodology, the workshop was customised for the breadth of experience among participants, which ranged from a few months to seventeen years.
During the workshop both participants and facilitators demonstrated a commitment to the learning process through the sharing of ideas and experiences with respect, good humour and professionalism. It quickly became apparent the participants were eager to engage in the course content and the various activities including role play, technical knowledge, creative design and intellectual discussion with a little bit of entertaining singing from a brave quintet.
These active learning sessions from the BRIDGE curriculum were supplemented with ice-breakers and energisers aimed at getting to know each other and creating a productive adult learning environment. A ‘fruity’ name learning icebreaker helped to quickly form a group bond and participants were enthusiastic about using their fruit monikers throughout the course. Delicious!!!
Positive feedback from all participants indicated they felt their expectations had been met and they had developed deeper understandings and curiosity about the national and global electoral arena.
The AEC’s Deputy Electoral Commissioner, Mr Jeff Pope opened the workshop sharing his enthusiasm for BRIDGE and encouraged the participants to make the most of this opportunity and the AEC’s Electoral Commissioner Mr Tom Rogers joined participants and facilitators on the final day to present certificates of achievement and celebrate the success of the workshop. Mr Rogers expressed his pleasure with the accomplishment of the workshop and his hopes for an active future for BRIDGE amongst the ECANZ network.