Leadership, Elections and Democracy

Priority area: Leading in our region

Democracies around the world are facing complex new challenges. In response, the ANU is developing innovative new ways to bridge the divides between the public, elites, institutions, and civil society.

Our mission is to be the world's leading platform for informing, cultivating, and leading public debate about the challenges facing democracies around the world. We aim to link the latest in interdisciplinary research methods with practical outputs that will reach living rooms around Australia, civil society across the Asia-Pacific, and democratic institutions around the world.

Our programs include informing voters at the ballot box with a web-based voter advice application, smartvote Australia. Developed for the 2019 federal election and redeployed for the 2020 ACT election, smartvote connects voters with individual candidates from their electorate, giving them a trusted source of authoritative information about what policies their candidates support. Only an informed vote is a truly free vote.

We are developing leadership training opportunities to enhance our next generation of democratic leaders. To achieve this, we will develop the skills of journalists, senior public servants, and civil society through strategic engagement that incorporates training, knowledge exchange, and network-building. This programme of work includes initiatives to prioritise community-informed engagement with underrepresented sectors of the Australian community and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

In fulfilling its mission, we will guide public debate, advance public policy, and place Australia and the ANU at the forefront of innovative thinking about democratic reform and institutional design across the Asia and the Pacific. Coupled with ANU's status as the national university and its outstanding international reputation in the political science discipline, our work has the potential to consolidate and strengthen the University's place as a hub for research, education, and public outreach on democracy worldwide.  

Funds donated via this website will be deposited in the CASS Donors Account for use on SmartVote programs, student training and research.

Page Owner: Philanthropy