Meet The Candidates Founders
meetthecandidates.com.au pilot launched in 2011 by Glen Dunkley and Natalie Bramble to address a need we had evidenced within our network for access to information on all prospective candidates who were registered for the Dubbo City Council elections. This was a self-funded social enterprise project.
Purpose: The purpose of a site was to reduce the barriers of access to a controlled online presence instead of just social media sites predominately being used. Candidates were given control over their profile information to ensure that fairness and equality was provided in reporting on each candidate and their position, which is difficult to achieve in other media where the candidate does not control their message.
We also wanted to develop a platform that enabled members of the pubic to ask all candidates a question on key issues and enable them to compare these responses.
Within 48 hours of the idea being developed we had conducted a phone survey, secured a web domain and social domain. With a week, candidate
profiles were loaded up and meetthecandidates.com.au the site was launched on the 9th August 2011.
Dubbo is a regional city of 27,159 electors on the residential roll and it registered 3,860 visitors to the official NSW electoral commission council election page (NSW Electoral Commission report).
Over the campaign period of 3 weeks, there were 15,437 page views on the website with an average visit of 6.52 minutes. After launching the video pitches recorded 2,960 views. 1/3 of our web traffic resulted from social media referrals. One popular post on the video pitches resulted in 179 shares. A number of voters identified the site as a key information source they used to inform their voting decision.
Most regional centres have a candidate information evening with 0.74% of the electorate voters attending the Dubbo meeting. With statistics from our trial website usage, it is clear most voter behaviour tends toward online research is preferred.
Other benefits of Meet The Candidates include;
- Reach voters that cannot attend a public forum
- Voters can interact with candidates
- Help candidates move to the next level such as state politics
- Help candidates with smaller budgets play on a level playing field
- Help voters learn more about their candidates in their area and make educated voting decisions
- Get more people to vote
- Educate people on how to vote
How will this benefit Australia?
Evidenced by the pilot program, this platform will assist voters in receiving unbiased, equal access to information about their local council candidates.
"As a vision impaired person, I found the site easy to read and well presented, and the information was, on the whole, easy for me to access.
I didn’t know of any other way of finding out about who was up for election, other than the local rag, which I don't buy or read.
Meet the Candidates was easy and straightforward and seemed to have factual and relevant information about the candidates.
It’s important to have a resource that is free, available online and presented without bias, and I would recommend Meet the Candidates to anyone interested in or discussing elections."
Annette FergusonVision impaired voter
Meet Our Team
Glen is a certified Inbound Marketing Professional and Social Media Marketer – he’s the quintessential “connected community” native.
Jen is a middle aged “jack of many trades” – among others an editor, an award winning journalist, a writer and a published author.
Natalie is a business development consultant and trainer with a diverse range of formal qualifications in the fields of management and business.