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 18 – 21 November 2019.
The 25 workshop participants were from the:
Participants 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 weeks to over 20 years. During the workshop the participants and facilitators readily shared their ideas, values and experiences to support the learning process and explore the course content. The engaging learning activities undertaken in the workshop included role plays, simulations, valuable discussions and creation of election resources.
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 and energised adult learning environment. A game of election themed Pictionary proved to be a good icebreaker to get creativity flowing. The visual interpretations of ‘stakeholder’ and ‘transparency’ got some laughs and created unique bonds.
Through their positive feedback participants indicated they greatly appreciated the opportunity to explore electoral systems outside of their own Electoral Management Body. Participants also used the workshop to network and build their understanding of how values and demographics influence election delivery.
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. The AEC’s State Manager – Victoria Mr Steve Kennedy joined participants and facilitators on the final day to present certificates of achievement and celebrate the success of the workshop.