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Women invited to step up to local council

Stepping up: Women in Campaspe are being encouraged to take part in a free seminar designed to get more women elected to Victorian councils. Photo by Cath Grey

A series of free seminars designed to get more women elected to Victorian councils is coming soon to the Campaspe area.

The Victorian Government-funded program Women Leading Locally aims to boost the number of women running for local government at the next elections, with 120 fellowships on offer to guide candidates considering office.

The program targets women in 30 local government areas that had the lowest representation of women at the October 2020 elections, including the Campaspe region.

The seminars will address the many benefits of having more women in council chambers, supporting others seeking office, how to apply for a fellowship, and a chance to meet like-minded individuals.

Women for Election chief executive Licia Heath, a past independent candidate for the federal seat of Wentworth, and councillor coach Ruth McGowan, the author of Get Elected, will both be presenting at the interactive seminars.

The program aims to help the government achieve its goal of at least 50/50 women councillors by 2025.

Sessions will be held in the Melbourne CBD, June 1, 5pm to 8pm; Traralgon, June 2, 5pm to 8pm; Narre Warren, June 4, 1pm to 4pm; Horsham, June 7, 5pm to 8pm; Geelong, June 8, 5pm to 8pm; Wangaratta, June 15, 5pm to 8pm and Kerang, June 16, 5pm to 8pm.

Details for each particular event can be found at https://communitydirectors.com.au/training/women-lead

Applications are welcome from women of all ages and backgrounds with a passion for their local community, with young women, First Nations women, women who live with disability, women from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and LGBTQI+ women especially encouraged to apply.

Applications for the 2022 Women Leading Locally Fellowship are open until June 28 and provide a no-cost opportunity for 60 women to be supported to stand for local government elections in 2024. A further 60 fellows will be selected in 2023.