Enquiry to Launch on Civics, Education, Engagement and Participation.

4 April 2024

The Federal Government has announced that it will launch an inquiry into “civics education, engagement, and participation in Australia” via the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.

The Committee is being chaired by Ms Kate Thwaites MP who stated “‘in a time when we’re seeing challenges for democracies across the world, and a rise in mis and disinformation, it’s important that every Australian has the opportunity to be informed about and engaged in our democracy.’”

This inquiry has been launched in response referral from the Special Minister of State, the Hon Don Farrell MP. 

The scope of matters to be considered in particular are:

the effectiveness of formalised civics education throughout Australia and the various approaches taken across jurisdictions through schools and other institutions including electoral commissions, councils, and parliaments; the extent to which all students have equitable access to civics education; and opportunities for improvement;

the vast array of informal mechanisms through which Australians seek and receive information about Australia’s democracy, electoral events, and voting; and how governments and the community might leverage these mechanisms to improve the quality of information and help Australians be better informed about, and better participate in, the electoral system;

the mechanisms available to assist voters in understanding the legitimacy of information about electoral matters; the impact of artificial intelligence, foreign interference, social media and mis- and disinformation; and how governments and the community can prevent or limit inaccurate or false information influencing electoral outcomes;

opportunities for supporting culturally diverse, geographically diverse, and remote communities to access relevant, appropriate, and culturally suitable information about Australian democracy, electoral events, enrolment and voting to promote full electoral participation;

social, socio-economic, or other barriers that may be preventing electoral participation; and ways governments might address or circumvent these barriers; and potential improvements to the operations and structures that deliver electoral events to support full electoral participation. 

The committee is set to issue It’s report by the end of 2024 however the window for submissions closes on Friday 24 May 2024.

For more details see their website here.

We support civics education, participation, and engagement as a responsibility of mature Christians and want to see an educated and engaged community.  

Any school or staff member wanting to input into a submission should contact the Director of Public Policy, Mark Spencer.

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