Women Leading Locally

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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Women Leading Locally

Supporting women to become community leaders


The Women Leading Locally program aims to increase the representation of women councillors and mayors in Victoria by supporting 120 women from 30 target municipalities through two Community Leadership and Local Governance fellowships.

The program welcomes the involvement of women from all ages and backgrounds – Young Women, First Nations women, women who live with disability, women from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and LGBTQI+ women are especially encouraged to apply. The key requirement is that you have a passion for your local community.

Get Involved

The Women Leading Locally Program is being launched through a series of inspiring and informative seminars that will be held online and face-to-face in seven communities across the state:

  • Online, introduction event, Thursday 12 May 2022, 6.00pm - 7.30pm
  • Melbourne CBD, Wednesday 1 June 2022, 5.00pm-8.00pm
  • Traralgon, Thursday 2 June 2022, 5.00pm-8.00pm
  • Narre Warren, Saturday 4 June 2022, 1.00pm-4.00pm
  • Horsham, Sunday 5 June 2022, 1.00pm-4.00pm
  • Geelong, Wednesday 8 June 2022, 5.00pm-8.00pm
  • Wangaratta, Wednesday 15 June 2022, 5.00pm-8.00pm
  • Kerang, Thursday 16 June 2022, 5.00pm-8.00pm

Participants will learn how and why they should get involved in local politics, why women’s leadership qualities transfer so well into political office and how communities benefit from having more women in council chambers. You’ll also hear how you can play a part in supporting others into power and why you should consider applying for a 2022 Women Leading Locally Fellowship (or encourage someone else to apply!).

The Fellowship

From 12 May 2022 until 28 June 2022, we will be accepting applications for the 2022 Women Leading Locally Fellowships.

The fellowship provides a unique opportunity to be supported into local government by skilled facilitators who want you to succeed and know what you need to get to the finish line.

The fellowship will build a pathway for participants to stand for local government elections through a combination of face-to-face peer support events and online workshops spanning campaigning, leadership and governance. Speciality content and mentoring will be provided by Women for Election, a non-partisan not-for-profit with a mission to inspire and equip more women to run for public office, and other key partners.

Program design and delivery is informed by input from a specially convened reference group comprising women from diverse backgrounds who understand the barriers placed before many women aspiring to public office.

On completion of the program, participants will be awarded a ‘Women Leading Locally – Community Leader Fellowship’, a new designation accredited by the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA). Those who complete the eight compulsory fellowship units will also receive an ICDA ‘Certificate in Community Leadership and Governance (Local Government)’.

The program is designed to inspire, equip and sustain women to become - and remain -successful local representatives for their communities.

Fellows from the 2022 and 2023 cohorts will be encouraged to form a strong alumni, offering mutual friendship and support and supported to keep up the pace all the way to the 2024 local government elections.

Step forward, step up. Take the opportunity.

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