The Andrews Labor Government is on track to reach gender parity in councils by 2025 with a record number of women elected in the 2020 Local Government elections.
With results now confirmed by the Victorian Electoral Commission, 272 women will take their place on councils for this term – representing 43.8 per cent of councillors, a new high for both Victoria and the nation.
Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane said that Victoria is the first state in Australia to top 40 per cent women councillors and shows strong progress towards the 50 per cent target set by the Victorian Government’s gender equality strategy, Safe and Strong.
A century on from Mary Rogers’ election to Richmond City Council as Victoria’s first female councillor, what is now known as Yarra City Council has elected women to six of its nine seats.
In general, councillors are also younger and more diverse, with more than 300 councillors elected for the first time.
There are at least 28 councillors from the LGBTIQ+ community, and six that identify as having an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.
The Government invested to encourage a diverse range of candidates, through initiatives such as the It’s Our Time campaign for women and the Your Country, Community and Council program for the Aboriginal community.
The new Gender Equality and Local Government Acts, passed into law earlier this year, put gender equality, diversity and inclusion as a key priority for local representation to ensure councillors reflect the communities that they serve.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane
“This is an absolutely outstanding result for the people of Victoria. Gender equality and diversity benefits all of us. It makes communities, councils and our state stronger.”
“My congratulations to everyone elected. Being a councillor is a privilege and an honour. The State Government looks forward to working with our new councils to build thriving communities for all Victorians.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams
“Victoria is leading the way in pursuit of gender equality and more women on councils will mean councils more closely represent the communities they serve and make better decisions.”