Breaking down barriers to voting within African communities

A group of community educators from communities across the Horn of Africa standing together on the steps of Parliament House with giant ballot papers

L–R (back row): Nyandeng Ayul, Acigor Majok, Beyene Weldegiorgis, Mayom Maketh, Peter Pal, Aguer Rual, Guil Deng, Matoc Achol, Adut Dharuai.

L–R (front row): Asvin Phorugngam (program co-ordinator), Ibrahim Ali, Tadros Tasfo, Etimad Jaffer, Nasteha Mohamud, Veronica Bar, Asunta Majur, Amil Hana, Abdinasir Ahmed, Andrew O'huli.

More than 3,000 Victorian residents from new and emerging communities in Victoria recently discovered how the Australian voting system works as part of the VEC’s Democracy Ambassador Program.

In partnership with Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV), the Democracy Ambassador program aims to break down barriers to effective participation in the electoral system, such as low English language skills, lack of familiarity with the Australian voting and parliamentary systems, or negative experiences in their country of origin. Some 26 Community Educators from African communities were trained to deliver electoral information sessions with the aim of increasing electoral enrolment, political literacy and civic participation among African Australians living in Victoria.

While the development of Phase 2 of the project is underway, the Community Educators continue be available to deliver electoral information sessions. Sessions can be booked by contacting the VEC Outreach and Engagement Officer, Asvin Phorugngam on or 8620 1185.