Community Ambassadors

For the 2018 State Election, Electoral Commission SA (ECSA) is piloting a Community Ambassador engagement program to help people from South Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities to understand their democratic rights and responsibilities and improve their participation in the electoral process. Community Ambassadors have been appointed and trained to deliver electoral information in the languages they speak at information sessions they attend and hold among their communities.

South Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Based on the 2016 census, there are over 152,000 South Australians aged 18 years or over who are Australian citizens (i.e. eligible to enrol and vote) and who speak a language other than English at home. Of these, around 20,000 rate their proficiency in English as not speaking English well or not speaking English at all; this is almost as many electors as in an entire state electoral district.

To ensure that South Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities understand their democratic rights and responsibilities at the State Election - including how to enrol and vote correctly - ECSA provides a range of community awareness, information and voting services, which include the pilot community ambassador program, employment of bilingual polling staff at polling booths, publications translated into 21 languages, outreach through our stakeholder partners, and advertising in South Australia’s multicultural and foreign language media.

Community Ambassadors

The Community Ambassador program is being trialled in the leadup to the 2018 State Election with four communities. After conducting research into the state’s demographic and migration trends and consulting with the government and community peak bodies that represent South Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities, ECSA selected four communities of South Australians to participate in the pilot program. These are the following:

  • the Afghani community;
  • the Bhutanese and Nepalese communities;
  • the Mandarin-speaking Chinese community;
  • the Vietnamese community.

    Afghani Community Ambassador Uzair speaking to an elderly Afghani man within a group setting. 
    2018 CA Mohan 2018 CA Wan Chinese  2018 CA Viet Lee

ECSA has engaged two members of each of these communities to partner with and represent ECSA as Community Ambassadors, providing in-language and culturally responsive services to deliver information about the election as well as promote electoral participation. After receiving training about enrolling, voting and the three levels of government in our state, Ambassadors are expected to go out among their communities and provide education about the electoral process while encouraging enrolment and turnout among their community’s members. 

On polling day, our Community Ambassadors will be present at polling booths in areas with high concentrations of electors from their respective communities. You will be able to find ambassadors at the following booths:

  • Afghani Ambassadors: Kilburn booth (Enfield district) and Paralowie West booth (Ramsay district)
  • Bhutanese/Nepalese Ambassadors: Elizabeth Vale booth (Elizabeth district) and Salisbury Central booth (Ramsay district)
  • Mandarin-speaking Chinese Ambassadors: Adelaide South booth (Adelaide district) and Glenunga booth (Unley district)
  • Vietnamese Ambassadors: Burton booth (Taylor district) and Croydon Park booth (Croydon district)

For more information about these booths, including their address and access details, look at our Interactive Map.

Following the election, the pilot ambassadorial program will be evaluated to determine if and how the program can be expanded and improved for future electoral events.

Bilingual polling staff

In addition to the Community Ambassadors pilot program, ECSA has worked hard to ensure that an adequate number of bilingual polling staff are employed in areas with high densities of electors with non-English speaking backgrounds. The names and addresses of those polling booths where electors will be able to find polling staff capable of assisting them in their own languages will be advertised in local multicultural and foreign language media in the weeks before polling day. Bilingual polling staff will be easily identifiable on polling day thanks to the large stickers they will be wearing on their vests.

For a list of Polling booths where bilingual polling officials will be working on Polling day click here.

Information in other languages

 Electors who do not speak English well may require additional assistance to engage in the electoral process. ECSA provides information about how to enrol and to vote at state elections in 21 languages - both on our website and in hard-copy publications which are distributed among community organisations and associations.

To download a copy of the brochure Enrolling and Voting at the 2018 State Election in your language, click on the link below:

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