Further supporting women to become community leaders, Bass Coast Shire Council hosted the Women Leading Locally Forum.
Current and former councillors came together to share their insights and experiences and discuss the benefits of having more women on Council.
Hosted by gender equality expert in local government, Ruth McGowan OAM guests heard from Deputy Mayor, Cr Leticia Laing, Cr Clare Le Serve, Cr Rochelle Halstead and former Mayor and Councillor Pam Rothfield together with Mornington Peninsula Shire Councillor Sarah Race, who is also a member of the Local Government Gender Equality Advisory Committee
Bass Coast Shire Deputy Mayor, Cr Leticia Laing, said women are generally under-represented in all levels of government.
“This forum was about providing an insight into what it’s like for women councillors in the Bass Coast Shire,” Cr Laing said.
“There are so many brilliant, talented women out in our community who have so much to offer. It was excellent to meet so many of them today.”
“I hope that we planted a seed that will grow into our community having greater women’s representation in the Bass Coast Shire.”
Having stood in three Council elections and two State Government elections as an independent candidate, Bass Coast Shire Council Councillor Clare Le Serve told the crowd how important it is to believe in yourself and have a go.
“Being a Councillor is a challenging and rewarding opportunity. It isn’t easy all the time, but everyone that stands for Council is there to make a difference. Achieving projects and good outcomes for our Bass Coast community is exhilarating. I look forward to watching attendees journey in leadership,” Cr Le Serve said.
Cr Rochelle Halstead outlined just how much the support for Councillors to succeed in the role has improved in recent years.
“Councillors now have a compulsory Councillor Induction program and access to organisations such as the Victorian Local Government Association and the Municipal Association of Victoria who are so helpful. Council officer are always there to offer assistance.”
Maybe from the video based around there being so much more support for Councillors through the compulsory Councillor Induction program, organisations such as VLGA and MAV, as well as the council officers who are always there to offer assistance.
Women Leading Locally Fellowships is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) in partnership with Women for Election. The next round of Fellowships will open in 2023.