Pathways to Politics Program for Women has realised significant impact in advancing female political participation since it launched in 2016, with 20 electoral successes achieved nationally across the political spectrum at local, state and federal levels of government.
The majority of alums intend to run for elected office in the next ten years, and at least 20 alums are poised to run in the forthcoming 2022 federal and Victorian state elections.
Now in its seventh year, Pathways to Politics Program for Women has opened for applications today. Since launching in Victoria with founding partner University of Melbourne, the program has now expanded to New South Wales with UNSW and Queensland with QUT.
The state-based programs are open to female-identifying and non-binary residents of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and have no cost for participants. The program has a practical, experiential format that supports your active participation through workshops, case studies, networking opportunities, panel discussions and Q&As with high-profile guest presenters from across the political spectrum, including politicians, journalists, analysts, advisors and strategists.
Further information about the program and application process can be found here.
Pathways to Politics Program for Women has launched a digital Knowledge Hub today, a public platform where all women and gender diverse people can find practical tools, information and inspiration to help in their run for public office.
The Knowledge Hub is a curated selection of content to help women at different stages of their journey: from understanding why it matters, what they need to consider in making a decision to run, to tools and guidance on getting elected, and becoming a political leader.
‘The first time I voted in an election, I got to vote for myself,’ wrote Takesa Frank in her Knowledge Hub blog. Takesha is a First Nations Pathways to Politics alum who at 19 saw a lack of young people represented in politics at all levels and ran in the NSW local government elections in 2021.
Ruth McGowan OAM, Pathways to Politics alum, former Mayor, consultant and advisor, has offered her step-by-step campaign guide Get Elected for free download on the Knowledge Hub.
‘I want to help women just like you understand what it takes to plan an election campaign, how to be on the campaign trail and how to get elected,’ says Ruth.
‘I’m grateful to be a part of the Pathways to Politics community, but now it’s my time to give back which is why I’m making my book free on the Pathways to Politics [Knowledge Hub].’
‘I get to put my skills into practice to stand up and advocate for the needs of my local constituents. I can play my part in ensuring that politics is truly representative, and its policies, decisions and direction are the best for the community where we live,’ writes Cathrine Burnett-Wake, Pathways to Politics alum and recently elected Member of the Victorian Legislative Council in her recommendations for your pathway to politics.
Other exclusive content on the Knowledge Hub includes:
Representing Care: Toward a More Family-Friendly Parliament identifies key amendments necessary to making state and federal parliaments ‘care-friendly’, an essential element to ensuring parliaments are gender-equitable workplaces.
Carol Schwartz AO in conversation with Annabel Crabb, a special Pathways to Politics event discussing her documentary Ms Represented and the experiences of women in parliament.
Australian Indigenous women and political leadership: a conversation with Michelle Deshong, Dr Michelle Evans and Kat Henaway discussing the political participation of Indigenous women in Australia, initiatives designed to support Indigenous leadership, and their advice for Indigenous women who are thinking about running for elected office.
Pathways to Politics was initiated through the vision of Carol Schwartz AO, Chair of the Trawalla Foundation, who fundamentally believes in the value of more female leaders. For Carol this is about optimising outcomes for our country by ensuring that men and women together share power, leadership and decision making.
Quotes attributable to Carol Schwartz AO:
‘I am proud of the national momentum we are building - together we are literally changing the face of Australian politics.’
‘This is a critical moment of change for women in public office. Equal representation will shape culture, decision making, collaboration, and ultimately reflect community issues in a more fulsome way.’
‘It is essential that we address the gender balance of our parliaments, and we are taking practical action by supporting genuinely diverse cohorts of women to run for office.’
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