Sally Piper and Jennifer Anderson are the only women out of nine Macedon Ranges councillors. They are hoping for more diversity at the local government elections later this year.There’s a call for more women on council and it has nothing to do with gender equality, our female councillors say.
Sally Piper and Jennifer Anderson are the only women out of nine Macedon Ranges councillors.
Working within an older-male-dominated council, the two have high hopes for more diversity at the local government elections later this year.
They want more of everything on council – young people, professional people, residents on committees, those with adaptable skills and experience, and yes women, or men – anyone with something to offer and a demographic to represent.
“Really I want skilled, experienced people on council irrelevant of gender,” Cr Piper said.
“I think it’s time for a younger council than we’ve had in the past … I think it’s time for a change and that demographic of young professionals adds a different perspective and represents a core population of the Macedon Ranges.
“We’re making decisions over a $90 million budget, they need to be able to make strategic, inter-generational decisions.”
Cr Piper said encouraging women to stand for council was not about women being equal with men, but achieving the diversity that is missing on council.
The marketing and communications manager said she hoped to be an example for other women who were unsure how be a councillor and a professional.
“It’s totally doable. I’m sick of people saying, ‘I work full time, I can’t do it’. It’s about balance and focusing on the things that are important as a councillor,” she said.
“If you’re a smart, skilled operator you can do both and you can make a difference.”
Cr Anderson said anyone who felt underrepresented in the council should consider putting their hand up.
She said representing West Ward residents had been as rewarding as it was challenging.
“It can be frustrating at times, you do learn to compromise, and when you have wins on something you really wanted and advocated for it’s a really nice feeling,” she said.
Cr Anderson, also a general practitioner, understands the need to juggle professional and council commitments.
She advises those standing to gather a network of support and just give it a go.
“Don’t be afraid to give it a go, it’s no loss if you put your hand up to be elected and you don’t get the votes. Everyone should be proud if they put their hand up.”
A forum for women thinking of standing for council will be held on Thursday, July 28 from 6.30-9pm, at the Kyneton Mechanics Institute.
Speakers will talk about their own experiences on council at the GoWomenLG2016 event.
Cr Anderson said the forum would help women formulate ideas and strategies for their potential candidacy.
To register your attendance, call Kate on 5422 0345 or email [email protected]论坛
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