Local women encouraged to run for Council election
The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) is aiming to have women make up at least 50 per cent of Councillors elected across the state this October.
To aid in this goal, the VLGA is running free Local Government 101 workshops online exclusively for women.
The workshops are designed to answer questions that potential candidates may have, including outlining the role of local government, the role of Councillors and how to become a candidate and run a successful election campaign. Women have a huge contribution to make to local government, bringing new skills and unique perspectives to Councils across Australia.
Horsham Rural City Council is no exception.
Councillor Pam Clarke, who has served four terms on Council, including three as Mayor, says it is important that there are diverse opinions around the table.
“Women bring a balance of views and another perspective to the debate,” says Cr Clarke.
She also says that women often have very different reasons for running for Council compared to their male counterparts. For her, motivation for being involved in Council was wanting a better place for her grandchildren to grow up.
Cr Clarke suggests that women might be put off from running for Council because they believe they have to be qualified. However, she points out this is not the case. People just need to have the right ethical values, and to be passionate about their community.
Overall, Cr Clarke has loved the experience and is proud of the projects she has been involved in, including the Horsham Town Hall, the Kalkee Road Children’s Hub and the Aquatic Centre.
Councillor Alethea Gulvin is by far one of the youngest people to sit on Council, and has served four years. Her advice to anyone considering running is, “If someone has a powerful message they want to share, they should stand for election”.
During her term, Cr Gulvin has enjoyed the opportunity to be part of many community committees that are making changes for the better.