A NEW group which encourages young women to stand for Local Government will have its first gettogether later this month.
Y WILD – Young Women in Local Democracy – is an initiative of Geelong Women in Local Democracy (WILD) and Women’s Health and Well Being, Barwon South West (WHWBBSW).
Convenor of Geelong WILD Jenny Wills said it was essential for local democracy, community wellbeing, and promoting equality and respect for women, that gender equality in representation was attained on all councils.
Geelong WILD is guided by the principles of the Victorian Local Government Charter – gender equity, diversity and active citizenship.
The City of Greater Geelong is a signatory to the Charter and in the lead up to the last election WILD worked closely with council on a pre-election program for women candidates.
Ms Wills said while three women were returned – Cr Stephanie Asher, Cr Kylie Grzybek and Cr Sarah Mansfield, Geelong fell well behind the state wide average of 38 per cent in women’s representation on councils.
With the state government’s target of 50:50 representation on Victorian councils by 2025 – only two elections away – WILD has decided to fast track women’s participation and local political leadership by facilitating young women’s understanding of council roles and responsibilities and promoting their candidatures.
Young women in the aged group 17-35 years interested to participate in Y WILD should contact Justine Devonport at jdevonport@ womenshealthbsw.org.au, or phone 0477 666 017 to receive an invitation to the Y WILD’s September information session.
Ms Wills said the group had applied for funding under the Pick My Project state government program for information sessions, training in, e.g. public speaking and social media and mentoring by experienced women councillors.
Successful projects will be voted in by their communities, so Ms Wills encourages all those supporting the Y WILD initiative to register their vote online at pickmyproject.vic.gov.au.
The get-together will be at Beavs Bar in Little Malop Street, Geelong, on Thursday, September 20 at 6.30pm.