With local government elections in seven months, the NSW Nationals in the state government have increased funding to $150,000 for women’s organisations to stage a series of workshops for prospective female candidates.
NSW Nationals Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said with women representing just 31 per cent of all NSW councillors, the government was focused on building a safer, stronger regional NSW and empowering more women to stand for their community.
“We all know that decisions made at a local government level have an incredible effect on our communities. With more women involved, we have the opportunity for a more balanced view, one that reflects our communities and leads to better outcomes,” Mrs Taylor said.
A fair go
The NSW Nationals in the state government are committed to increasing the number of female councillors serving their local communities and achieving greater diversity in our councils.
Across the state, more than 30 workshops will be taking place in the next few months to equip and inspire more women to run this September.
This is a record commitment from the government and sees $50,000 awarded to Australian Local Government Women’s Association NSW Branch (ALGWA NSW), in addition to the $100,000 provided to Women for Election Australia last year.
ALGWA NSW President and Lithgow City Councillor Cass Coleman said the workshops will be held in metropolitan, regional and rural areas to reach as many potential new female councillors as possible.
“Past forums organised and run by ALGWA NSW before local government elections have resulted in a number of women successfully running as candidates, most recently Cootamundra-Gundagai Councillors Penny Nicholson and Leigh Bowden,” Cr Coleman said.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than serving in the level of government closest to the community and I encourage any woman thinking about standing for their community to attend one of these worthwhile forums.”
Women for Election Australia CEO Licia Heath commended the NSW Government for its commitment to increasing gender diversity in councils across the State.
“Women for Election Australia has designed training workshops to not only inform women about the roles and benefits of being a councillor but more specifically about how to get elected,” Ms Heath said.
“Last year, we helped seven women get elected in the Victorian local government elections – we aim to triple that in NSW this September.”
Find out more
Information about the NSW Government’s Election of Women to Local Government campaign can be found on the Office of Local Government website.
Information about Australian Local Government Women’s Association can be found here.
More on Women for Election’s workshop series can be found here.