Conference Program

Updated: 9 April 2013

19–20 November 2012 – Old Parliament House, Canberra

Day 1: 10.30am – 5pm Monday 19 November 2012

Opening Comments – Electoral Commissioner and CABER Chair

First Session (11am–12.30pm) – Social Media, Engagement and Elections

Chair: Phil Green (ACTEC)

Panellists: Ariadne Vromen (University of Sydney), Jim Macnamara (UTS), Peter Chen (University of Sydney)

Social media, particularly via online services such as Facebook and Twitter, are becoming important ways of disseminating information, including electoral information. These services are also potentially a way of engaging younger electors, who are increasingly avoiding the traditional news media. This session will look at the AEC's social media research project and consider ways in which electoral management bodies can engage with and educate electors through new media.

Lunch (12.30pm–1.30pm)

Second Session (1.30pm–3pm) – Managing the Roll

Chair: Andrew Banfield (ANU)

Panellists: Lisa Hill (University of Adelaide), Peter Brent (ANU), Ed Killesteyn (AEC)

Direct enrolment and direct update schemes already operate in Australia's two most populous states, and are currently being implemented for the federal roll. These reforms are designed to lift the declining enrolment rate in Australia. This session will examine issues around enrolment and electoral roll integrity, and explore the implications for the Australian electoral systems from these developments.

Afternoon Tea (3pm–3.30pm)

Third Session (3.30pm–5pm) – Participation and Turnout

Chair: Norm Kelly (ANU)

Panellists: Antony Green (ABC), Aaron Martin (University of Melbourne), Ian McAllister (ANU)

Compulsory enrolment and voting in Australia has resulted in high levels of electoral participation by international standards. There are concerns, however, regarding sections of the population who have low levels of enrolment and participation and with the increasing number of Australian electors who are pre-poll and postal voting. This session will consider approaches to improving participation and turnout, and the possible consequences of trends in early voting.

Drinks and canapés (5pm–6.30pm)

Dinner (6.30pm–10.30pm) Address by Antony Green (ABC).

Day 2: 9.30am–1.30pm Tuesday 20 November 2012

Keynote (9.30am–10.30am)

There's more to democracy than polling day: citizen engagement between elections

David Farrell, University College Dublin

Morning Tea (10.30am–11am)

Fourth Session (11am–12.30pm) – Media and Citizen Engagement

Chair: Brian Costar (Swinburne University of Technology)

Panellists: Dennis Shanahan (News Ltd), Phillip Coorey (Fairfax), Lyndal Curtis (ABC)

Much of the information Australian electors have on the electoral system and politics more generally is mediated through the professional media. The media are therefore a key factor in the political and electoral engagement of Australian electors. In this session we will hear from media commentators about how they see their role in the functioning of Australian democracy, particularly in terms of electoral and political engagement.

Closing remarks – Electoral Commissioner

Lunch (12.30pm–1.30pm)