The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the growth and development of women in local government with a funding boost to mentor future leaders.

Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek announced $17,000 in funding for the Australian Local Government Women’s Association’s (ALGWA) Mentoring Program at the recent Ministerial Women’s Roundtable.

The mentoring program will support 40 new local government women councillors throughout their first term on Council by pairing them with skilled and experienced councillors and ex-councillors.

This investment follows a $50,000 commitment to the Victorian Local Governance Association’s (VLGA) Local Women Leading Change initiative, which will support potential female candidates, including Aboriginal and culturally diverse women in the lead up to the 2020 local government elections.

The Labor Government is helping peak bodies support its Gender Equality Strategy – Safe and Strong, which aims to achieve 50 per cent women councillors and mayors by 2025.

The Minister confirmed that reforms to support gender equality through workforce planning and recruitment policies are part of the new Local Government Act for Victoria which will be presented to the Parliament this year.

The Government is also working to deliver a Gender Equality Act for Victoria, with a Bill to be put before the Victorian Parliament in 2019.

The Bill will introduce a range of measures to support women, including requiring all public sector organisations to develop and report on a Gender Equality Action Plan to:

  • Identify strategies to promote workplace gender equality,
  • Identify strategies for the implementation or strengthening of gender impact analysis, and
  • Report annually on the progress of their Action Plan against gender equality targets and indicators.

For more information visit engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality.