• Loddon Herald

Women leading program

Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, is urging women across his electorate – and the state – to get involved in the Women Leading Locally: An Opportunity To Step Up program.

Mr Walsh says the program is being delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia in partnership with Women for Election.

He says the initiative aims to support more women to step forward and stand for local government elections in October 2024, including in Campaspe, Gannawarra and Swan Hill, which fall within his electorate.

In a media release today, Mr Walsh said:

“This is such a vital first step on the path to getting more women to stand for Parliament – state and federal – and I cannot over emphasise how important it is for the whole community,” Mr Walsh says.

“The Institute is the country’s leading membership and training body for community leaders, and is an Our Community enterprise, while WFE is a non-partisan, not-for-profit that aims to inspire and equip more women to run for public office,” he says.

“Their partnership will begin with a series of face-to-face and online seminars to explain more about the program, highlighting the often-invisible work of women leaders across the state and encouraging them to get involved in local politics.

“Seminar participants will also hear how they can play a role in supporting other women into power.”

Mr Walsh says he cannot think of a better way to introduce women into the opportunities and possibilities of politics than through a program as diverse and extensive as this one.

He says building a strong group of equally diverse women to contest the 2024 elections will “without doubt” contribute to building stronger councils for Campaspe, Swan Hill and Gannawarra.

“Even better I would look forward to some – or all – of these women considering joining The Nationals to help us ensure we give regional Victorians the support and representation they deserve,” Mr Walsh added.

Applications are now open for the 2022 Women Leading Locally Fellowship, which will provide 60 women with the skills, tools, and support to stand for the next local government elections.

With another 60 fellows to be selected next year.

Institute general manager Adele Stowe-Lindner says WLE is targeting applicants from the 30 local government areas where women were most under-represented at the 2020 council elections.

Ms Stowe-Lindner says they are looking for women from all ages and backgrounds – young women, First Australians women, women who live with disability, from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and LGBTQI+ women are all encouraged to apply.

“Help us to help you tap into your unexplored potential as women leaders in your community; and like Mr Walsh we encourage you to step forward, step up and help break the bias,” she added.

To find out more or register for a seminar, go to https://communitydirectors.com.au/training/women-lead

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