VICTORIAN local government elections are on in October this year.
The community will vote to elect people to become councillors and to represent their community’s interests and make decisions in the best interests of the whole shire or city.
Councils across the region are conducting candidate information sessions for those considering nominating for the local government elections.
While the general population is generally 50 per cent male and 50 per cent female, women elected as members of local government have always been significantly under-represented.
The percentage of women elected to local government in Victoria in 2012 was a lowly 35 per cent.
“...the personal growth and rewards derived from having the responsibility and honour of representing your community in this important role cannot be understated.”
Although each of the 79 councils throughout the state have female representation there are 10 councils with only one-woman councillor.
For this reason, the Victorian Local Governance Association is running GoWomenLG 2016 sessions throughout Victoria in conjunction with councils to encourage more women who are passionate about local issues to stand for council.
It was pleasing to see that GoWomenLG events, held recently in Horsham and Nhill, attracted considerable interest from a diversity of women who heard from a panel of female peers on their experiences as a councillor.
As a member of the panel this year, I reflected on my attendance at a GoWomenLG evening four years earlier that left me feeling very inspired to stand for council.
Undoubtedly, while maintaining a successful work-family life balance may present challenges and require that some compromises be made, the personal growth and rewards derived from having the responsibility and honour of representing your community in this important role cannot be understated. I believe councillors having diversity of age, professions, gender and life experience will more closely reflect the communities they represent.