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Applications for Pathways to Politics are now open!

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | February 28th, 2017

Have you ever considered running for elected office?

After a successful 2016 pilot program launched in Canberra by The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP and The Hon. Julie Bishop MP, the Melbourne School of Government’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women is calling for 2017 applicants.

Designed to address the under-representation of women in Australian politics, program participants will hear from current and former MPs along with local and international experts in media, polling, networking, campaigning and speechwriting.

The Program is an initiative of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA), made possible by a generous donation to the University of Melbourne from the Trawalla Foundation established by the Schwartz family.  Ms Carol Schwartz AM, Founding Chair of WLIA, says last year’s pilot program was a great success with several women already embarking on political careers.

“The program has given a cohort of incredible women from across the political spectrum the skills, support and networks they need to run for office. It’s critical to have men and women share power at the highest levels of leadership and decision-making – that’s why we initiated the Pathways to Politics Program for Women,” says Ms Schwartz.

Two of last year’s fellows – Susanne Newton and Stephanie Amir – were recently elected as councillors in the City of Darebin and two others – Olivia Ball and Sarah Mansfield – ran as candidates in the federal election and had significant swings towards them.

Olivia then went head-to-head against popular Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle, and received the second-highest number of votes, beating more experienced politician Phil Cleary.

Recently, Bridget Vallence won pre-selection for the safe Liberal seat of Evelyn, in Victoria.

Based on Harvard University’s “From Harvard Square to Oval Office”, the non-partisan program equips 25 women from diverse backgrounds with the skills, networks and confidence they need to seek elected office at a federal, state or local level.

Free for successful applicants, the Pathways to Politics Program for Women runs from June to November this year.  Prospective participants can view the eligibility requirements and apply here. Applications close at 11.59pm on April 4th 2017.


Vic Minister Philip Dalidakis Australia’s first politician to take the Panel Pledge

By | December 7th, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE (From the State Government)

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis tonight took the Panel Pledge to get more female leaders from STEM and business represented in Victoria’s industry panels and conferences.

PledgeIndustryPanelssmThe pledge was made at an event co-hosted by the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA), who also launched the inaugural WLIA Media and Panel Pledge Awards.

The awards will recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations who achieve the greatest impact in their implementation of the Panel Pledge, as well as media professionals who achieve gender balance in their stories.

By taking the Panel Pledge, Mr Dalidakis chooses to only participate in panels and consider government funding for conferences and events that have clear 50/50 gender representation in their speakers.

The WLIA initiated the Panel Pledge in Australia in 2013 to address gender imbalances often seen on panels and at conferences. It was immediately taken up by the Male Champions of Change movement, under the leadership of former Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick AO.

While women make up 46 per cent of Australia’s workforce, it is estimated that they make up less than 15 per cent of panellists in industry events across the country.

The pledge comes just days after the Andrews Labor Government unveiled Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.

Victoria’s first ever gender equality strategy includes a series of landmark reforms to support women and girls – a Gender Equality Act, gender audits across government and public sector, scholarships to encourage young and emerging women leaders and hosting the first all women trade delegation to China.

The Labor Government has been leading the push for gender diversity in Victoria since it first introduced a requirement for equal representation in all public boardrooms. The average proportion of women on government and public boards now sits at 49 per cent, a considerable jump from 39 per cent just six months ago.


Pathways to Politics begins tonight!

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | June 2nd, 2016

The day has finally arrived! We are excited to be attending the first session of the inaugural Pathways to Politics Program for Women at the Melbourne School of Government, made possible by the Trawalla Foundation and with support from WLIA.

The distinguished speaker this evening will be Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO. She will be in conversation with our Founding Chair, Carol Schwartz AM.

Carol spoke to Jon Faine this morning about the program and how it came about.


Applications are open for MSoG’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | April 1st, 2016

Have you ever considered a career in politics? Do you want to change the status quo?

The Melbourne School of Government’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women is an Australia-first, non-partisan initiative designed to redress the continued under-representation of women in Australian politics.

This free executive program, made possible by the Trawalla Foundation and WLIA, will provide a select group of female University of Melbourne alumnae and students with the skills, support and encouragement to run for elected office at local, state and national levels.

The program will feature guest presenters from across the political spectrum including politicians (both sitting and retired), pollsters, public speaking professionals, campaign strategists, advisors, consultants and public policy experts.

Applications are now open and will close at midnight on Monday 11 April 2016. Please visit the Pathways to Politics for Women website for more information, including eligibility and how to apply.


Carol Schwartz backs UniMelb’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women

By | November 26th, 2015

The first Australian university program to address the continued under-representation of women in parliament has been launched today by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Carol Schwartz AM and the University of Melbourne at Parliament House, Canberra.

The ‘Pathways to Politics Program for Women‘ will be delivered by the University of Melbourne to female graduate students and alumni, and is designed to provide the support and training necessary to aspire to elected office at local, state and national levels.

The Program was initiated and made possible by a generous donation from the Trawalla Foundation established by the Schwartz family.  The Foundation invests in social enterprises that demonstrate innovation and leadership in their area of social impact, such as the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia.

Ms Carol Schwartz AM, Chair of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, said that it was a privilege to contribute to the advancement of women in political life.

“Currently women occupy fewer than 30% of Australian parliamentary positions, which is considerably lower than our international counterparts.  So I am thrilled to be launching a non-partisan program designed to help bridge the gap,” Ms Schwartz said.

‘Pathways to Politics’ is modelled on the ‘From Harvard Square to the Oval Office‘ program, offered through the Kennedy School at Harvard University, and will be based within the Melbourne School of Government.

Participants will be given the opportunity to learn from members of parliament, campaign strategists, advisors, consultants and elected officials. It is anticipated that graduates of the US and Australian programs will form part of an international network of women in office.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis AC, said the program reflected the University’s commitment to support social change.

“The University is very excited to launch a program designed to ensure women are encouraged and supported in their contribution to public debate and well represented in government roles,” said the Vice-Chancellor.

In its first year, ‘Pathways to Politics’ will be open to University of Melbourne graduate students and alumni.

Prospective students can register for information online.