Women leading locally

Published on 26 May 2022

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A new program from the Victorian Government – Women Leading Locally – is set to launch via a regional roadshow across the state on 1 June, with the aim of increasing the proportion of women councillors and mayors to 50 per cent by 2025.

Women from the region are invited to attend an information seminar about the program in Horsham on Sunday 5 June 2022, 1.00pm to 4.00pm

The Women Leading Locally program will support 120 women from 30 target municipalities through two Community Leadership and Local Governance fellowships. Applications for the first fellowship are now open and will close on the 28 June.

The fellowship will build a pathway for participants to stand for local government elections through a combination of face-to-face peer support events and online workshops spanning campaigning, leadership and governance. Speciality content and mentoring will be provided by Women for Election, a non-partisan not-for-profit with a mission to inspire and equip more women to run for public office and other key partners.

Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane announced Women Leading Locally on International Women’s Day stating “Having more women in local government makes councils more representative and able to make better decisions for their communities.”

Women for Election CEO Licia Heath said that Victoria was leading other states on its path to gender equity in local government, but it hadn’t happened of its own accord.

“Many people and groups have worked hard to make Victoria the leader on gender equity in local government,” said Ms Heath.

“However, none of us want to settle with 44% of councillors being women. I’m looking forward to touring regional Victoria with Ruth McGowan, our training partner and author of ‘Get Elected’, to get in front of 1,000 women and showcase this opportunity and drive home how transferable community leadership is to elected office. We're also partnering with Politics in Colour to ensure women of colour receive the additional support they may need to consider a role as an elected member of their community. We’re all aiming for Victoria to be the first state to achieve gender equity in local government and ensure a strong pipeline of women who want to run in future elections.

“As the level of government closest to communities, it’s vital local councils reflect all the people they serve. Improving gender and cultural diversity on Victoria’s Councils is critical to this program.

“In the aftermath of the federal election, it’s worth reflecting on the important role councillors play. It’s also worth noting that the journey from local government to either state or federal parliaments is a well-worn path. The fundamentals of representation, good policymaking and community engagement are important at every level of government, as is the need to prepare and run effective election campaigns,” said Ms Heath.

The Women Leading Locally initiative will be delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia in partnership with Women for Election.

Horsham seminar details: 
Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Road, Haven
Sunday 5 June, 1pm to 4pm
A light food arrangement will be provided for attendees 

Register your attendance  

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