SEEKING GENDER BALANCE IN AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
4 Oct 2018
Less than one-third of Australian local government councillors and just eleven per cent of CEOs are women. If this continues, we will not see a healthy balance of male and female Councillors until 2063.
Councillor Coral Ross, a Hawthorn East resident and local government Councillor for sixteen years, has received a Churchill Fellowship because she has a passion and determination to improve gender equality in Australian local government by increasing the number of elected women Councillors.
Councillor Ross will travel to the USA, Canada, the UK, Sweden and Germany to investigate how other countries encourage and support the election of women to government.
Councillor Ross has always been a strong advocate for gender equality and became more involved in this cause when she was the only female representative on her Council.
“My experience in this role has made me appreciate the difficulties that new female Councillors may face.
“Through the Fellowship, I will observe various programs and international best practice. I hope to not only find programs which we can adopt, but more important how women are identified to participate.
“I anticipate this opportunity will demonstrate that one size does not fit all. I expect to find diverse approaches, which will be applicable in different States throughout Australia.
“All countries are working to get more women elected, but Australians are operating in a vacuum. I am determined to bring back and implement the best approaches to achieving this in Australia.”
“This is a terrific opportunity for Councillor Coral Ross to bring back to Australia methods we can adopt to encourage and support aspiring female Councillors,” said Adam Davey, CEO of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
“The Churchill Fellowship recognises Dr Ross’s motivation to achieve positive change. We look forward to seeing what she will be able to achieve in local councils through Australia as a result of her Fellowship.”