ALGWA President recognised on honour roll

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, Victorian Minister for Women’s Affairs, Jacinta Allan, announced the 30 women named on the 2007 Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

A total of 386 women have now been added to the Victorian Honour Roll, which recognises the significant contributions that women have made to their communities and to the lives of other women, since its establishment in 2001. It is an ongoing commitment of the Victorian Government, which will culminate in 2008 with the centenary of women’s suffrage in Victoria.

Among the women inducted to the list this year was the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) National President, Kaele Way, for her leadership and support for women’s participation in Local Government.

ALGWA Victoria’s President, Councillor Jenny Dale, nominated Kaele to be recognised after being inducted to the honour roll herself in 2005. Kaele has been ALGWA’s national President since 2004 and was a Councillor at the City of Whitehorse from 1997 to 2003. She believes as a Local Government representative, it is possible to make a real difference.

“It is something that is closest to the people and is something that is truly local,” Kaele Way said. “You have a very strong involvement with the community, see the difference you can make and really feel that you are contributing to the wellbeing of others.”

Kaele stood for election after deciding she could be a conduit between the community and Council on a range of issues. After six years as a Councillor, she was able to see the fruits of her labour and on leaving office turned her attention to encouraging others, particularly women and young women, to stand for office.

Under Kaele’s leadership, ALGWA has established a mentor network to support and encourage both women standing for Local Government as Councillors, and Council Officers.

“We are making sure they have the knowledge of what Local Government is about,” she said. “Potential Councillors need to know of the commitment – it is a lot of time. You need to read minutes and documents to be informed, attend meetings and you need to really like people.

Nominations for the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for 2008 will open in mid 2007. To view the full list of 2007 inductees visit www.women.vic.gov.au