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GoWomen LG Report

The panel: Tonia Dudzik, Sharon Telford , and Kate Redwood.

Diversity is a topic on many people’s minds of late, and diversity of representation in Local Government is the driver behind the GoWomenLG2016 program. These kinds of programs create real change: in 2012, following the Think Women for Local Government 2012 Project, women stood for their councils in the highest numbers ever, with significant results. Every local government now has at least one woman elected, a first in Victoria’s 100 year history of women’ participation in local government.

In late July, the Zonta Club of Kyneton was delighted to partner with the Macedon Ranges Shore Council to host a local event. Twenty participants including at least four women who will be nominating for council - three in Macedon Ranges and one in Hepburn - gathered to learn about running for council, hear and share stories and experiences from our panel, and access resources for women interested in local government.

The program aims to increase the number and diversity of women in Local Government, and the councillors who made up the panel on the night certainly reflected this. Introduced by our local Cr Jennifer Anderson, the panel of Cr Kate Redwood (Hepburn), Cr Tonia Dudzik (Moorabool) and Deputy Mayor Sharon Telford (Mt Alexander) each had different pathways to local government and different levels of experience. They each shared some very useful tips for campaigning and generating a presence in the community, and how to manage the demands of council and work or family life and to take advantage of the support that is available.The discussion was sometimes quite lively, with some very different experiences of how diversity is accepted by, or indeed challenges, individual council environments.

We had a very active Q&A session with many excellent questions from the candidates present, and the networking time after the formal part of the evening gave many of the women an opportunity for some in-depth conversations on topics of particular interest. All in all, and informative and valuable event, and one we were very happy to be in a position to support.

Would you like to know more? Here are some resources that may be of interest:

GoWomenLG website

Facebook group - More women for local government

A Gender Agenda

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