Australia 2022 election: Logistical challenges

Electoral Regulation Research Network QLD Seminar

Tuesday, 15th March 2022


  • Dr Kath Gleeson, A/g First Assistant Commissioner
  • Professor Rodney Smith, Professor of Australian Politics at the University of Sydney
  • Professor Anika Gauja, Professor of Australian Politics at the University of Sydney
  • Dr Ferran Martinez i Coma, Senior Lecturer and Director of Engagement, School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University (Chair)

About the talk:

With the forthcoming federal election looming, ERRN QLD chapter is organizing an online panel discussion on the management and logistics of the election. At least two elements regarding the forthcoming election can be considered: logistical challenges such as voters’ and staff safety, given Covid-19 and a predicted surge in early in postal voting. Fostering exchange between academics and electoral commissions, in this ERRN event, Professors Anika Gauja and Rodney Smith joined First Assistant Commissioner, Service Delivery Division, Dr Kath Gleeson from the Australian Electoral Commission.  The event was chaired by Dr. Ferran Martinez i Coma ERRN QLD chapter convener and Senior Lecturer at Griffith University.

About the presenters:

Dr Kath Gleeson is A/g First Assistant Commissioner, in the Service Delivery Division of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). Previously to that position, in the last 10 years she has also hold the following positions within the AEC: Assistant Commissioner, Delivery and Support Branch; Director, National Training and Education Unit; Director of Operations; Assistant Director; and Divisional Returning Officer. Areas of focus during her career include the design, development and delivery of training and learning focussed on capability building within the AEC but also internationally through the ‘Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections’ (BRIDGE) Program. She has also performed roles focussed on electoral management, reform and operational delivery both in Australia and overseas, and spent time in the not-for-profit sector and in academia, where her focus was on Australian foreign policy, political theory and security studies. Dr Gleeson holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor and Arts (Honours) from the University of Newcastle.

Rodney Smith is Professor of Australian Politics at the University of Sydney. His books include Contemporary Australian Political Party Organisations (co-edited, 2015), Contemporary Australian Politics (co-edited, 2012), Against the Machines (2006) and Australian Political Culture (2001). His articles on aspects of Australian politics have appeared in Governance, European Journal of Political Research, Party Politics, The American Review of Public Administration and The Australian Journal of Political Science. He has published reports on aspects of electoral administration for the Electoral Regulation Research Network and the NSW Electoral Commission, as well as ‘Hot Topics’ guides to Australian federal elections designed for a general readership.

Anika Gauja’s research interests broadly centre on the comparative analysis of political institutions and participation in representative democracies. Her work to date has looked at the operation of political parties, assessing the continuing relevance of these institutions as mechanisms for citizen participation in politics and their ability to represent diverse and conflicting interests. She is particularly interested in how parties, and other collective political organisations, adapt to social and technological change. Anika also researches at the intersection of law and politics and has written extensively on the regulation of political organisations and elections. Anika has published in journals both within Australia and internationally, including Party Politics, the European Journal of Political ResearchGovernance and Comparative Politics. She is the author of Party Reform (Oxford University Press), The Politics of Party Policy (Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor of numerous publications on party members and electoral politics, including Party Members and Activists (Routledge) and Morison’s Miracle: The 2019 Australian Federal Election (ANU Press).