Helping women lead locally

Cr Jasmine Nguyen is one of eight women currently serving on Brimbank council.

The state government is helping more women in Brimbank become leaders in their community by providing training and mentoring to boost their chances of being elected as local councillors.

Applications have opened for the second round of the Women Leading Locally Program, which aims to build gender equality on local government councils by 2025.

The program is equipping 125 local leaders with the connections and tools to campaign as candidates in the 2024 council elections.

At the last local government elections in 2020, Victoria set a new national record for female representation with women making up 43.8 per cent of elected councillors.

The Women Leading Locally Program is being delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia in partnership with Women for Election – the first round has provided training and mentoring to 60 women from local government areas with low female representation. The second round is open to women from a further 32 areas.

Hume resident Emily Greco began the program in 2022. YMCA Victoria youth voice manager at is looking forward to combining the training she is receiving with her passion for inspiring and empowering young people to create the change they want to see in the world.

Ms Greco is supported by Frankston councillor Sue Baker, who is drawing on her experience working in corporate, not-for-profit, and local government organisations to help more women make their voices heard.

“Before this program, the idea of running for local council was daunting and it seemed like an exclusive club where people spoke a different language,“ Ms Greco said.

“This training has broken down a lot of those barriers and taught me that anyone with a passion for their local community has a right to run for council.”

Applications for round two of the Women Leading Locally Program are open until Friday, April 14.