Advancing gender equality in local government

The Andrews Labor Government has launched a new effort to drive gender equality across Victoria’s 79 councils.

Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane today announced the formation of the Gender Equality Advisory Committee, which will be co-chaired by Labor MPs Juliana Addison and Kat Theophanous.

The committee will draw on the experience of women from across the sector to ensure the local government sector can harness the benefits of equality for all Victorians

Expressions of Interest are now open for ten places on the committee, open for mayors, councillors, chief executives, or senior council officers and sector leaders will be encouraged to put forward suitable people to serve.

The committee will advise the Minister for Local Government and Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams, on how to deliver the Government’s target of 50 per cent female mayors and councillors by 2025.

In addition, the committee will drive implementation of the Australian-first Gender Equality Act across local government. Its work will complement the newly established Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner, Dr Niki Vincent.

The committee will also include representatives from the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, the Australian Services Union, the Municipal Association of Victoria, Victorian Local Governance Association, Local Government Professionals and Reconciliation Victoria.

Following the 2020 local government elections, 272 women were elected to council – representing 43.8 per cent of councillors. While a new high for both Victoria and the nation, there is still some way to go to achieve the 50 per cent target by 2025.

Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane

“Victoria has made tremendous progress on gender equality in local government. This new committee will focus on gender equality across the sector and build collaborative, forward-thinking approaches to the issues.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams

 “Victoria is leading the way in pursuit of gender equality. I’m looking forward to working with the committee to ensure we meet our goals – because gender equality benefits all of us.”

Quote attributable to Kat Theophanous MP

“I’m delighted to be appointed co-chair of the Gender Equality Advisory Committee. This is a great opportunity for us to make a real difference for women in local government.”

Quote attributable to Juliana Addison MP

“This is an exciting time for local government, with record numbers of female councillors.  I’m excited to have this opportunity to contribute to breaking down barriers in the workplace and making sure all Victorians benefit from gender equality.”

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