Women in Local Government look to the future

The future role of women in Local Government was the focus of a landmark Roundtable held in the Macedon Ranges in Victoria on 12 and 13 March 2001.

Federal Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald, provided $25,000 to support the event, announcing the Government assistance on 8 March 2001 - International Women’s Day.

“Women’s involvement in Local Government – as mayors, councillors, CEOs and general staff – has been vital to the social and economic well being of communities across Australia,” Minister Macdonald said. “It is important that we recognise and applaud this effort and look for ways to ensure that women have every opportunity to contribute in even greater numbers to what has often been described as the coal face of government.”

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA). The association was founded in 1951, one of its aims being to encourage women into Local Government.

The Roundtable not only provided an opportunity to celebrate the enormous contribution women have made to Local Government in the past, but also to develop a strategy to mark out what their future role may be. Roundtable participants plan to present this strategy to other women working in Local Government at a special celebratory dinner to be held in Parliament House, Canberra, later this year.

Senator Macdonald said there were many milestones to celebrate in this anniversary year.

“I look forward to hosting the celebratory dinner and speaking with a broad cross-section of women who are playing such an important role in the future of Local Government in Australia.”