ACU encourages senior staff to familiarise and build relationships with key individuals in government. ACU staff should consider inviting government officials to an event:
when ACU has spent government funding on a project / building
to showcase something important to government
to build relationships and goodwill
as a courtesy for significant events.
Please note: if you are considering inviting politicians or senior government officials to an event, consult the high-profile external stakeholder event engagement protocol first to confirm which category your event falls under. For example, if an invitee is a significant or high-profile government stakeholder, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President may wish to be involved, therefore changing the event category from a B to a C.
When liaising with politicians or government officials, it is important to follow proper protocols, including forms of address. Please consult the Forms of Address for Government Guide on SharePoint when addressing government hierarchy either in person or when corresponding via letter or email.
Politicians or senior officials should be given special attention to ensure all logistics are taken care of. Pay attention to the points regarding run sheet and order of proceedings in this guide. Many politicians’ offices, particularly ministers’ offices will also request their own contact information sheet to be completed prior to the event. In addition, you will need to consider:
if they are bringing guests, whether a partner or staff member
dealing with advancers (someone who conducts an advance viewing of the venue prior to the event on behalf of the dignitary)
any security requirements or potential for protest
having business cards ready to hand out for networking purposes
materials about ACU
formal table settings
appropriate food for a formal occasion: Lunch – two courses (main and cheese or dessert) Dinner – three courses Cocktail party – small pieces with minimal mess
appropriate food if it is an informal occasion: Lunch – sandwiches that are easy to pick up and eat
You should also be aware that commitments made by senior politicians, particularly ministers, to attend external events are always subject to unexpected and even last-minute demands on their time. For example, an urgent Cabinet meeting or parliamentary commitment would take precedence over most external events.
Give thought to how you could run your event if your political guest cancelled at short notice. In such a case, you may wish to ask the politician’s office to recommend another politician from the same party to “represent” the invited politician.
It is important that the Office of the Director of Government, Policy and Strategy is aware of your interactions with government so that the University can present a consistent and informed approach in its dealings with government.