‘An election is like a military operation’: inside Victoria’s poll

Victorian electoral commissioner Warwick Gately says running an election is akin to a military operation. The Mandarin sat down with the former military man in the wash-up of the state poll.

Warwick Gately

Warwick Gately

Running an election is a lot like a military operation, according to Victoria’s electoral commissioner Warwick Gately. And he would know.

After entering naval college at the age of 15, Gately rose through the ranks and ended up commanding the HMAS Torrens in 1994 and HMAS Adelaide during operations off East Timor in 1999.

But having three children and moving every two years took a toll on family life. He took a job as deputy electoral commissioner in Western Australia “responding to an advertisement for a significant event manager”, he told The Mandarin, “which if you think about military operations and a lot of work I’d done in Canberra — long range planning, contingency planning, force development, force structure planning — it sort of fitted.

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