NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Why it’s important to enrol to vote

Image in feature tile: Electoral Awareness Officer ‘Ted’ Marrawili Gondarra pointing to a pie chart showing under-enrolment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Photo: Tom Maddocks, ABC News.

Why it’s important to enrol to vote

A federal election is coming up. Your vote will help form the next federal government. Voting is the way that everyone in our country can have some influence on the decisions that affect you and your community.

For our mob, it’s important to make sure our interests are represented by voting. Since Neville Bonner was first elected in 1971, Indigenous politicians have increased in number at both state and federal levels. These men and women have fiercely advocated for the rights and concerns of the people they represent in their local community, state or territory, and for First Nations people all around the country.

Your vote is your chance to have a say on who represents you on issues that are important to you and your community.

You can access a range of That’s Why I Vote resources, a National Indigenous Television (NITV) and Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) partnership, click here.

banner text 'enrol today to help share tomorrow' young Aboriginal woman, Aboriginal dot art purple, blue, yellow, white, greenn

Image from AEC Enrolling to Vote Factsheet.

In-language enrolment to vote videos

The AEC has developed a suite of 21 Why it’s important to enrol and vote in-language videos available in the following languages:

Alyawarra, Anindilyakwa, Arrernte, Burarra, English, Guugu Yimithirr, Kalaw Lagaw, Kriol, Kukatja, Martu, Meriam Mir, Murrinh Patha, Ndjebanna, Nyangumarta, Pintupi Luritja, Pitjanjatjarra, Tiwi, Walmajarri, Walpiri, Yumplatok and Yolngu Matha.

You can access the videos, like the Anindilyakwa one below here.

Enrolments to vote close in 7 days!

The 2022 Federal Election has been called for Saturday 21 May 2022.

To vote in the election, people must be enrolled.

Enrolments to vote CLOSE at 8:00PM local time Monday 18 April 2022. If you are an Australian citizen aged 18 years or older you are required to vote in the federal election. To enrol to vote for the first time or to get back on the roll you can do so online here.

banner text 'our vote our future' Aboriginal woman looking at voting information leaflet

Supporting mob to enrol to vote

We must enrol our mob to vote, to ensure our voices are heard at a national level. If your organisation would like to support people to enrol, there are a range of materials and links to key websites that might help you. You may also like to share this information on your social media or place it around your organisation.

Aboriginal man voting

Image source: SBS NITV website – 10 April 2022.

Enrolling to vote resources

Please feel free to share the materials below with your networks:

  • why you should vote resources here
  • how to enroll to vote – if you are enrolling for the first time or  getting back on the roll you can enrol online here
  • an enrolling to vote fact sheet here
  • a social media tile here

AEC social media poster 'Our Vote Our Future - Enrol today to make sure your voice is heard'

Busting enrolling to vote myths

SBS NITV have written an article Myth-busting: What you need to know about enrolling to vote., to better inform people who think they can’t enrol or vote, or that the process is too hard. The article busts the following seven myths:

  1. If I don’t have ID, I can’t enrol to vote.
  2. If I enrol for the first time, I will get fined for not enrolling and voting in the past.
  3. If I don’t enrol, I don’t have to vote, and I can’t be fined.
  4. If I don’t have a fixed address, I can’t enrol to vote.
  5. I will miss out on my chance to vote if I can’t make it to a polling place on election day.
  6. If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, your vote is wasted.
  7. I’ve been to prison before, so now I’m not allowed to enrol or vote.

To access the SBS NITV article in full click here.

AEC polling place banner

Image source: SBS website.

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