Diversity and inclusion summary

Group of people smiling at cameraDuring 2021–22, the VEC continued to engage and empower people under-represented in the voting process by working to specific targets in its inclusion plans.

An Out of Home Action Plan was launched in June 2022. The first of its kind for electoral engagement of people experiencing homelessness or incarceration, the plan was developed with extensive input from community partners and stakeholders.

Several key Out of Home Action Plan deliverables have already been implemented, including:

  • reactivating the MythBusting campaign for the 2022 State election
  • updating the Victorian prison guide
  • revising the Out-of-Home Advisory Group
  • recruiting and training democracy ambassadors (DAs) with lived experience or connection to the out-of-home sector.

Partnerships with The Big Issue and StreetSmart this year also aimed to engage people experiencing homelessness in the lead up to the 2022 State election.

The Young People Inclusion Plan was launched last year and in 2021–22, the VEC achieved several key deliverables, including:

  • establishing a Future of Democracy young people’s internship
  • conducting geospatial mapping to determine the reach of the VEC’s young people engagement programs
  • appointing young DAs to facilitate peer-to-peer electoral education sessions
  • designing and delivering of a series of online ‘civics and citizenship’ professional learning workshops for teachers.

Over 26,000 students participated in the VEC’s Passport to Democracy program this reporting year, and 6 teams were sponsored to attend the annual YMCA Youth Parliament.

In its third year, the VEC’s Multicultural Inclusion Plan continued to address the needs of Victoria’s growing population of culturally and linguistically diverse voters, with initiatives including:

  • researching electoral engagement with Mandarin and Cantonese-speaking communities
  • sponsoring the Victorian Multicultural Commissioner’s Cultural Diversity Week
  • delivering an Active Citizenship Leadership Program in partnership with Leadership Victoria.

This was the third implementation year of the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2019–23. Some key achievements this year included:

  • two students completed paid internships with the VEC through the Australian Network on Disability’s Stepping Into Internship Program
  • the VEC successfully advocated for 4 actions to be included in the State Disability Plan
  • the Education and Inclusion Team developed and implemented an Inclusive Event, Meeting and Training Checklist to assist staff with inclusive practices.

The VEC has completed 27 of 50 actions in the current Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.

Working around COVID-19 restrictions, the VEC made connections in key Aboriginal regions during 2021–22, including with representatives from the following services and networks:

  • Korin Gamadji Institute – Richmond Football Club’s Aboriginal Leadership arm
  • Bunurong Land Council Reconciliation Victoria
  • Elizabeth Murdoch College Koorie Student Unit
  • NAIDOC Victoria
  • Mildura District Aboriginal Service.

In February 2022, a group of young Aboriginal people were recruited as DAs and attended a 3-day Cultural Gathering Camp on Wurundjeri country around Mt Evelyn, Healesville and Coranderk, with representatives from the VEC’s Aboriginal Advisory Group.

The Aboriginal Advisory Group, comprising of 9 highly respected Aboriginal elders and leaders from across Victoria, also continued its work this year.