With local government elections seven months away, the NSW Government has increased funding to $150,000 for women’s organisations to stage a series of workshops for prospective female candidates.
Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock said the Government was committed to increasing the number of female councillors serving their local communities and achieving greater diversity in our councils.
“From Albury to Dubbo, Western Sydney to Lismore, over 30 workshops will be taking place across the State in the next few months to equip and inspire more women to run this September,” Mrs Hancock said.
“This is a record commitment from the NSW Government and sees $50,000 awarded to Australian Local Government Women’s Association NSW Branch (ALGWA NSW), in addition to the $100,000 provided to Women for Election Australia last year.”
Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor said with women representing just 31% of all NSW councillors, the Government was focused on building a safer, stronger regional NSW and empowering more women to stand for their community.
“We all know that decisions made at a local government level have an incredible effect on our communities. With more women involved, we have the opportunity for a more balanced view, one that reflects our communities and leads to better outcomes,” Mrs Taylor said.
ALGWA NSW President and Lithgow City Councillor, Cass Coleman said the workshops would be held in metropolitan, regional and rural areas to reach as many potential new female councillors as possible.
“Past forums organised and run by ALGWA NSW before local government elections have resulted in a number of women successfully running as candidates, most recently Cootamundra-Gundagai Councillors Penny Nicholson and Leigh Bowden,” Cr Coleman said.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than serving in the level of government closest to the community and I encourage any woman thinking about standing for their community to attend one of these worthwhile forums.”
Women for Election Australia CEO, Licia Heath commended the NSW Government for its committment to increasing gender diversity in councils across the State.
“Women for Election Australia has designed training workshops to not only inform women about the roles and benefits of being a councillor, but more specifically about how to get elected,” Ms Heath said.
“Last year, we helped seven women get elected in the Victorian local government elections – we aim to triple that in NSW this September.”
Information about the NSW Government’s Election of Women to Local Government campaign can be found on the Office of Local Government website.
Information about Australian Local Government Women’s Association can be found here.
More on Women for Election’s workshop series can be found here.