Future of women’s leadership meets in Melbourne

Posted on 14 Sep 2022

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The attendees of the Women Leading Locally program meeting in the Melbourne CBD. Pictures: Penny Stephens

More than 60 future political leaders have met for the first time in Melbourne as part of the ICDA’s Women Leading Locally program.

The first crop of 60 fellowship winners, from across Victoria and from a diverse pool, are undertaking the program of intensive and practical training with a mission to equip more women to run for local government office.

An initiative of the Victorian Government that’s being delivered by ICDA alongside Women for Election, special guests at the event at the RACV Club included Local Government Minister Melissa Horne, Lord Mayor Sally Capp, and Politics in Colour CEO Kate Henaway.

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Local Government Minister Melissa Horne.
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Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp.
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ICDA general manager Adele Stowe-Lindner.
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Women at the event were given guidance on running for local council.
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The program aims to reach a 50/50 gender split on Victorian councils.
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Licia Heath has toured the state with her message of the possibilities for women.
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It's expected many participants will run for office in the 2024 elections.
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The fellowship program is fully funded by the Victorian Government.
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Another 60 places will be made available for the program in 2023.

Ms Horne said: “This program will help break down the barriers many women face to stand for leadership positions and give them the skills and confidence to campaign in the local government elections in 2024.

“Achieving gender equality in local government leadership will deliver real benefits because when you have diversity in decision-making bodies, decisions are made that better represent the needs of the community.”

ICDA general manager Adele Stowe-Lindner said she’d been “inspired and humbled” by being in a room of the program’s fellowship winners and was confident they would “change the face of local government”.

Women for Election CEO Licia Heath said getting involved in politics had changed her life and hoped to see program have a big impact on others, alongside seeing Victoria reach a 50/50 gender split in local government.

“Something that was never shared with me when I ran, was that on election day that you’re given a ballot paper and your name is on it, and you get to vote for yourself. It's a very humbling and a very empowering thing all in one. I want them to feel that.”

This program is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) in partnership with Women for Election.

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