NEW PROGRAM TO BOOST WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins has today launched a new mentoring program designed to encourage more women to seek election and provide support to women in local government.

The Andrews Labor Government provided $20,000 to the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) for a mentoring program to encourage and support women elected to their local councils.

The funding builds on a $50,000 contribution for the Victorian Local Governance Association for its successful GoWomenLG project, which aimed to increase the number of women elected at the 2016 council polls. 38 per cent of all councillors elected  in 2016  were women, up from 34 per cent at the 2012 elections.

All councils elected at least one woman in 2016, while 15 of the 79 councils across Victoria now have more women than men holding a seat on council.

Speaking at the launch of ALGWA’s mentoring program today, Ms Hutchins said it was important to not only get more women onto councils, but to also support them once they are in the role.

The program will match first time councillors with experienced mentors, including current and former mayors, to capitalise on the wealth of knowledge that already exists with women in the local government sector.

The program is part of a suite of initiatives and reforms announced in December 2016 in the state’s first Gender Equality Strategy. The strategy outlines the Government’s target that by 2025, 50 per cent of all councillors will be women.

For more information, visit www.algwa.com.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins

“While the 2016 Victorian elections were very successful for women in local government, we can’t afford to lose focus on supporting women, and take a backward step.”

“This mentor program will help future generations of women get elected and will make sure new councillors get the support they need to excel.”