Deputy Mayor appointed to Gender Equality Advisory Committee

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The Victorian Government has appointed Mornington Peninsula Deputy Mayor Councillor Sarah Race to its Gender Equality Advisory Committee.

The new committee has been established to drive gender equality across Victoria’s 79 local councils and will provide advice to the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Shaun Leane, and the Minister for Women, the Hon Gabrielle Williams, on how to achieve the Government’s target of 50 per cent female mayors and councillors by 2025.

The committee will also focus on implementing the equality measures in the Local Government Act 2020 and the Gender Equality Act 2020, which is aimed at improving workplace gender equality across Victoria’s public sector, including local councils.

Kat Theophanous MP and Juliana Addison MP will co-chair the committee. Cr Race’s appointment is for just under five years to 31 December 2025.

The members of the Gender Equality Advisory Committee are:

1. Kathryn Arndt, Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Local Governance Association

2. Jennifer Bednar, Board Member, Local Government Professionals

3. Maria Dimopoulos, Board Member, Reconciliation Victoria

4. Kylie Spears, President, Australian Local Government Women’s Association (Victoria branch)

5. Kerry Thompson (Interim Nomination), Chief Executive Officer, Municipal Association of Victoria

6. Natasha Wark, Lead Organiser, Australian Services Union (Vic and Tas branch)

7. Jennifer Barrera, Councillor, Wyndham City Council

8. Mary-Ann Brown, Councillor, Southern Grampians Shire Council

9. Fleur Cousins, General Manager Corporate, Campaspe Shire Council

10. Jenna Davey-Burns, Councillor, Kingston City Council

11. Rachael Gadd, Director Infrastructure and Environment, Towong Shire Council

12. Helen Healy, Deputy Mayor, Mildura Rural City Council

13. Jessie Holmes, Chief Executive Officer, Yarriambiack Shire Council

14. Meghan Hopper, Senior Coordinator Advocacy, Moonee Valley City Council

15. Rebecca McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Glen Eira City Council

16. Sarah Race, Deputy Mayor, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

Quotes attributed to Deputy Mayor Cr Sarah Race

“I’m honoured to be chosen as a member of the State Government’s Gender Equality Advisory Committee and look forward to helping improve the gender balance in Victoria’s local governments.”

“Although a record number of women were elected to local councils in the November 2020 elections, women still only represent about 43 per cent of all councillors in Victoria. There is still a long way to go to achieve equality.”

“When you have a gender mix on council that reflects that of the broader community, you get better decisions and better-designed projects and services more suited to the needs of our community.”

“With the addition of newly appointed Nepean Ward Councillor Susan Bissinger, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is now just over 63 per cent female. This puts us in a good position to share our perspectives, ideas and experiences with other councils and with the Victorian Government.”

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