Tuesday, June 19, 2012

think women for local government

A formidable group of women, from left to right:
Cr Stefanie Perri - City of Monash, Cr Di Blackwood -
Baw Baw Shire, Minister for Women's Affairs
Mary Wooldridge, Minister for Local Government
Jeanette Powell, Cr Sue McMillan - Knox City Council
and Cr Samantha Dunn - Yarra Ranges and
VLGA President.
My role as Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) President has seen me attend many Think Women for Local Government forums.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of officially launching Think Women for Local Government.

I was delighted to be joined by a wonderful group of strong women who spoke of their experiences as women in local and state government.

The Think Women for Local Government project is funded by the Office of Women and being delivered by the VLGA. The project's mission is to get 700 women to join the sprint to the 2012 local government elections.

Women make up 51% of Victoria's population but we're only 29% of local councillors across 78 different municipalities (Brimbank isn't included as it's under administration). In the 2008 local government elections the numbers of women elected dropped and no women stood in a quarter of wards and subdivided municipalities.

The VLGA is working with the Victorian Government, local governments and community partners to boost the number of women candidates standing in October.

In the lead up to the 2012 elections its sobering to note that there are five local governments with no women councillors at all and fourteen with only one woman on board.

Women bring different experiences and a promise of better diversity to city and shire halls. It's about bringing balance to the decision making table.

If you're interested you can register to access the Think Women for Local Government site here. You can also visit the More Women for Local Government facebook page here.

Local government is very rewarding and has provided great opportunities to get things done at the local level for the community as well as develop personally.

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