Former ABS head appointed as Electoral Commission Chairperson

Dominic Giannini 13 September 2021 1
David Kalisch

David Kalisch has been appointed the Chair of the ACT Electoral Commission. Photo: IPAA.

The former head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics David Kalisch has commenced as the new ACT Electoral Commission Chairperson following the resignation of Dawn Casey.

Mr Kalisch began his new role on Friday (10 September) and his appointment will last until 9 September 2026.

The Electoral Commission is responsible for conducting ACT elections and determining the Territory’s electoral boundaries. It is comprised of a part-time Chairperson, the Electoral Commissioner and a part-time member.

Ms Casey resigned after being a member of the commission for nearly 11 years. She was appointed chair of the commission in April 2017.

ACT Speaker Joy Burch said Mr Kalisch, who was previously the Australian Statistician, enters the role after a “distinguished and extensive public sector career”.

Mr Kalisch has served as a non-judiciary member of the Australian Electoral Commission, the Director and Chief Executive of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and as a Productivity Commissioner.

He has also made a significant contribution to a Commonwealth-State working group considering the security of electoral systems and options for improvement, Ms Burch said.


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Ms Burch also thanked Ms Casey for her “wisdom and experience” and for successfully leading the ACT’s first election during a pandemic last year.

“Ms Casey’s advice and strategic insights have greatly benefitted the work of the commission,” Ms Burch said.

Ms Casey said it had been a “privilege and an honour to have served on the commission” and welcomed the new chairperson.

“Mr Kalisch has a deep understanding of the challenges facing organisations delivering critical government services through the use of technology-based systems,” she said.

“I consider that the combination of his strategic leadership and management abilities, his governance experience and his appreciation of the importance of effective cyber security with his personal qualities will ensure that he will make an outstanding contribution to the work of the commission.”


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One Response to Former ABS head appointed as Electoral Commission Chairperson
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Adrienne Yeo Adrienne Yeo 8:37 pm 14 Sep 21

Lovely, lovely guy. Wishing him all the best in your new endeavour.
Unfortunate that the Census PR disaster marred this tenure at ABS. Always a smile and friendly hello, even to the most junior staff.

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