Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Applications open for new round of LG gender equality program

Applications have opened for the second round of the Victorian Government’s Women Leading Locally Program, which aims to build gender equality on local government councils by 2025.

Victorian Minister for Local Government, Melissa Horne says the program is equipping 125 local leaders with the connections and tools to campaign as candidates in the 2024 council elections.

“This program is a fantastic tool in our goal of achieving 50-50 gender parity in local government by 2025, and there is no better time to celebrate this than on the eve of International Women’s Day,” said Ms Horne.

“We’re breaking down the barriers many women face to stand for leadership positions, giving them the skills and resources to campaign with confidence.”

At the last local government elections in 2020, Victoria set a new national record for female representation with women making up 43.8% of elected councillors.

The Women Leading Locally Program is being delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia in partnership with Women for Election. The first round has provided training and mentoring to 60 women from local government areas with low female representation. The second round is open to women from a further 32 areas.

Hume resident Emily Greco began the program in 2022. The Youth Voice Manager at YMCA Victoria is looking forward to combining the training she is receiving with her passion for inspiring and empowering young people to create the change they want to see in the world.

“Before this program, the idea of running for local council was daunting and it seemed like an exclusive club where people spoke a different language,” said Ms Greco.

“This training has broken down a lot of those barriers and taught me that anyone with a passion for their local community has a right to run for council.”

Ms Greco is supported by Frankston City Councillor Sue Baker, who is drawing on her experience working in corporate, not-for-profit, and local government organisations to help more women make their voices heard.

“The Women Leading Locally Program and subsequent mentoring fast-tracks learning so women can feel equipped to hold their own on council and embrace from day one their capability to lead and capacity to deliver,” said Cr Baker.

Applications for round two of the Women Leading Locally Program are open until Friday, 14 April. To find out more visit, localgovernment.vic.gov.au.

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