Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter Champions – Maintaining the momentum
On Friday 21 June, the VLGA hosted a working lunch for Victorian council signatories of the Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter. Participants included council CEOs, officers and councillors, representing a vast array of metro, rural and regional councils that are signatories to the Charter. Currently 72 of the 79 Victorian councils are signatories to the Charter.
The conversation was facilitated by Liddy Clark, who encouraged participants to reflect on their council’s interactions with the Charter and share their ideas on how the VLGA and MAV may support councils to take meaningful action in line with the Charter principles (gender equity, diversity and active participation).
Below is a summary of the discussion, including suggestions and action items which were workshopped by participants. For the video recap, click here. Thank you to our Leading the Agenda partners, Pitcher Partners for hosting this important event.
Linda Bennett opened the lunch with a history of the Charter, from its origins in 1997 to its progress today.
The Charter was created by the Women’s Participation in Local Government Coalition (WPILGC), which came about at a time when the number of women councillors was at a record low. Its emphasis was not only on increasing the number of women in elected representative roles, but on encouraging and empowering women from a diverse range of backgrounds to actively participate in decision-making roles in their communities.
Linda highlighted the need for collaboration across the sector and the community when it comes to achieving the Charter’s aims, from the women’s groups who were part of the original WPILGC to the VLGA and MAV jointly holding responsibility for the coordination of the Charter today.
Deborah Wu, VLGA Women’s Engagement & Project Officer explained the motivations for holding the working lunch. It is clear from the Charter’s history and the ebbs and flows of women’s representation that achieving (and maintaining) gender equality in local government requires ongoing attention.
The strategic objective: How can the Women’s Charter be utilized to maintain the momentum for gender equity, diversity and active participation in our communities?
Develop tangible actions that can be undertaken by Charter Champions and relevant organisations.
• What does the Charter mean to your council?
• How is the Charter used/applied at your council? What does your council do well, and what could it improve on?
• What are the gaps in your council’s achievement of the outcomes of the Charter? What support do you need, and how can the VLGA and MAV help? What kinds of tools would be useful to you?
• What kinds of initiatives could we undertake with your council’s support? How do we structure activities to maintain the momentum for Charter principles?
• How do we structure activities to maintain the momentum for Charter principles?
• How do we bring the remaining 7 councils on board?
For more information about the Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter, click here.
Please contact Deborah Wu, Women’s Engagement & Project Officer at email@example.com or on 9349 7999 should you have any questions about your council’s Charter signatory status, or to discuss initiatives that your council can take to support the work of the Women’s Charter.
Leading the Agenda in July is a panel discussion: ‘Optimising our Planning System’
The panel includes:
Moderated by Martine Letts Chief Executive Officer, Committee for Melbourne.
Friday 19 July, 11am – 1pm Pitcher Partners, Level 13/664 Collins Street, Docklands.
Bookings essential. A light lunch will be provided.
The VLGA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Victoria and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners, their elders past, present and future, and to their cultures.
The advice provided by the VLGA is intended to be guidance only. It is not a substitute for legal or formal advice from relevant regulatory bodies.
© Victorian Local Governance Association 2023