Sunday, May 26, 2024

Next generation of women leaders launched in Victoria

The Victorian Government’s Women Leading Locally program is officially underway with the first intake of future female leaders meeting to discuss key issues in the sector.

Minister for Local Government, Melissa Horne, welcomed the first 60 participants of the program at an event at the RACV Club in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday.

Throughout the afternoon, participants took part in networking activities, mentoring sessions, and also heard from Kat Henaway, CEO of Politics In Colour to discuss the importance of cultural diversity in politics.

The Program is designed to inspire and equip women to become successful local representatives for their communities and is being delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia in partnership with Women for Election.

“Achieving gender equality in local government leadership will deliver real benefits because when you have diversity in decision-making bodies, decisions are made that better represent the needs of the community,” said Minister Horne.

“This program will help break down the barriers many women face to stand for leadership positions and give them the skills and confidence to campaign in the local government elections in 2024.”

Delivered over two years, 120 women will be supported through the program, with participants to also gain connections and tools to campaign as candidates in the next local government elections in 2024.

Women Leading Locally builds on the success of the Labor Government’s Gender Equality Advisory Committee (GEAC), led by MPs Kat Theophanous and Juliana Addison, who have assisted in the design of the program.

GEAC provides advice to the Minister for Local Government and the Minister addressing gender inequality in local government elected officials, with the goal of reaching 50% representation among councillors and mayors by 2025.

“It’s critical that we give the right support to women who are considering standing for leadership positions within local politics to ensure we get more diversity and better decision-making throughout the sector,” said Victorian Minister for Women, Natalie Hutchins.

GEAC draws on experience from across the sector to ensure local government can harness the benefits of equality for all Victorians. The next round of the leadership program for the remaining 60 women is scheduled to begin in early 2023.

To find out more about the program, GEAC and other LGV programs supporting gender equality visit localgovernment.vic.gov.au.

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