Victorian-first program promotes council diversity

The Victorian Government is boosting diversity across local councils by funding a landmark new program to support Aboriginal people to become council candidates.

Victorian Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek announced $20,000 to help the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) launch the Your Community, Country and Council.

This Victorian-first initiative is designed to ensure the local government sector reflects the diversity of the community, by helping and encouraging Aboriginal people to run for the 2020 local government elections.

It addresses a significant underrepresentation of Aboriginal people in local government and supports the Victorian Government’s commitment to achieving diversity and gender equity within local councils.

The program will provide targeted support in the form of advice, expertise and training to Aboriginal people around the process of candidacy.

The first phase of the program will link potential candidates with past and current Aboriginal representatives in local government, capturing and communicating their insights and expertise.

The second phase will be focused on raising awareness around the process of nominating, with a series of engagement and information forums held across the state.

This builds on the Victorian Government’s grant of $50,000 to the VLGA for its Local Women Leading Change program to support female candidates in running at the upcoming local council elections.

The Government has also given a $5,000 boost to the HART Awards, which recognise initiatives by local governments and community organisations that are advancing reconciliation in Victoria.

Promoting diversity within local councils brings a range of skills, perspectives and expertise into the local government sector and ensures that the elected councils reflect the diverse communities they represent.

Source: Vic Government