2020: a year in review

Examples of social media posts that were the result of co-design with young people

The Education and Inclusion Team has had a big year with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changing the way outreach and education was delivered for the 2020 local council elections.

The team went online and continued to deliver education in different way to Victorians. 

Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Bilingual Democracy Ambassadors and a number of VEC staff created a series of videos, shared across our social media channels, in 10 languages to explain how to enrol and vote in the October local council elections. The final video in the series will explain what to do if you receive an ‘apparent failure to vote notice’ and will be released in early 2021, when notices are issued.

Eleven Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Democracy Ambassadors were also trained to deliver online voter education sessions and delivered a total of 80 online voter sessions to culturally diverse communities including:

  • Arabic
  • Harazagi
  • Dari
  • Bhutanese
  • Urdu
  • Mandarin
  • Karen.

Three Active Citizenships workshops were delivered before the first Melbourne lockdown: two sessions to Maribyrnong City Council’s staff and CALD community leaders and a session to Monash Multicultural Women.

The team attended, presented or promoted the 2020 local council elections via 16 meetings with key CALD worker networks and local council workers networks. 

People living with disabilities

People with disabilities and their supporters were able to access one of 47 outreach sessions offered. VEC Democracy Ambassadors were employed to assist with the online sessions leading up to the October local council elections. 

Democracy Ambassadors co-presenting with Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability were able to provide electoral education to residents and staff within specialist disability accommodation across Victoria with support from Aruma, Possability and Life without Barriers.

People experiencing homelessness

The ‘myth busting’ outdoor advertising campaign designed to dispel common myths about voting was targeted to people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne’s inner suburbs leading in to the local council elections. 

The advertising campaign was complemented with other initiatives, such as our partnership with HoMie and Street Smart. Through the partnership we were able to distribute voting information along with some warm socks and a hot meal to people living in insecure housing.

Star Health also provided tailored information on our behalf to people with no fixed address, living in hotel accommodation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

A partnership with Reconciliation Victoria resulted in the creation of a number of interviews and animations on social media regarding the enrolling and voting process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We also continued our work with the Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI) at the Richmond Football Club to support the Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership (REAL) program engaging young leaders from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

Young people

The Passport to Democracy Team conducted 17 school incursions (pre-COVID) and then a further 25 online sessions reaching a total of 2,775 primary and secondary school students. Twelve school incursions, booked earlier in the year, had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

We launched a refreshed Passport to Democracy website.

A social media campaign resulting from a co-design process with young people was piloted in target areas to test engagement and was found to be very effective during the local council elections. The lessons learned will be adopted for the 2022 State election.