Councillor Sandra Wilson recently accepted the position of Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter Champion for Hobsons Bay City Council.
Councillor Wilson said it was important for councils and local governance structures to be as inclusive as possible.
“Councils are most effective when they reflect the communities they serve, so we need to bring as many voices as we can to the table.
“While gender plays a big part in a community’s diversity, it is important to recognise that within gender there is diversity.”
The Women’s Charter was developed in 1996 after the founding of the Women’s Participation in Local Government Coalition.
The latter was formed in response to the decline in the number of women councillors elected after the mid-90s council amalgamations.
Cr Wilson said there was still a challenge to encourage more women to stand for election.
“Across Victoria, 662 women stood for local government elections in 2012. This resulted in a record 34 percent of elected local councillors being women, but there is room for improvement.
“The Victorian Local Governance Association will build on its successful 2012 campaign to encourage more women to stand.
“GoWomenLG 2016 will be launched later this year offering practical support for women interested in becoming a candidate, and encouraging women and men to get behind a woman they know to support her campaign.
“I am honoured to take on the Women’s Charter Champion role for Hobsons Bay but we must all work together to be inclusive and broaden the diversity of voices in positions of leadership.”
Cr Wilson takes over the position from former Councillor Luba Grigorovitch who carried out the role between 2010 and 2014.