Living in the UK, Oliver Forbes, has created an online video to remind all Australians living abroad to ensure they are enrolled as an overseas voter ahead of the Same-Sex Marriage postal survey.
With over 200k views to the video, DNA had a chat with Oliver:
DNA: What made you decide to create this video?
Oliver: When they (the Australian Government) announced the plebiscite, I initially found it quite confusing about how I could vote from London. After speaking to friends who are also abroad, many people seemed quite confused too. When I discovered that Australians abroad have to complete a form to register as an overseas voter, I panicked, thinking how many people will not know about this, and how many people may miss out on voting. I made the video to spread awareness for Australians abroad that they have to complete this form, and also the deadline to submit it by.
DNA: How long have you been living in London?
Oliver: I moved to London 2.5 years ago to work as a Paramedic.
DNA: Were you enrolled as an overseas voter when you left Australia or has the SSM postal survey encouraged you to get involved?
Oliver: I wasn’t enrolled as an overseas voter until about a week ago when I registered so I can vote in the plebiscite. I actually missed out on voting for the last federal election because I forgot to submit the form to register as an overseas voter! Goes to show how easy it is to forget about these things when abroad.
DNA: How is UK media reporting what is happening in Australia?
Oliver: I actually haven’t seen anything in UK news about the plebiscite. Everything I’ve seen has been Australian media. This is another reason why I panicked about how many of us living abroad could completely miss out on knowing a plebiscite is happening! Or that you have to register as an overseas voter to participate.
DNA: Apart from sharing this video, how else would you encourage young people in Australia and overseas to vote in the postal survey?
Oliver: Having conversations with friends, colleagues, and strangers about the upcoming plebiscite. Posting on social media.
Key dates to remember with the Same-Sex Marriage postal survey.
Thursday, August 24 – Electoral roll closes including for overseas voters.
Tuesday, September 12 – Survey mailed out.
Wednesday, October 11 – Last day to order a replacement survey.
Tuesday, November 2 – Survey due back to ABS.
Wednesday, November 15 – Survey results announced.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
Follow Oliver on Instagram