The news for Victorian Greens just keeps getting better. After our biggest local government election yet, in which we increased our state representation from 17 councillors to 29, Greens women in Victoria have been elected to leadership roles in five local councils, with three being elected mayor and two more as deputy.
Re-elected to Indigo Shire, Councillor Jenny O’Connor has secured a two year term as Mayor. This is a testament to her hard work and commitment as a Councillor, and her passion for the area demonstrated in her state and federal campaigns to provide a Greens voice for the area.
Amanda Stone, now serving her third term on Yarra City Council, has been elected Mayor for the second time. Darebin Greens have made history by increasing their representation to four Councillors from one, including three women, and electing the city’s first ever Greens Mayor, Kim Le Cerf.
Kat Copsey in Port Phillip, and Samantha Ratnam in Moreland have been elected Deputy Mayor in their respective Councils.
“Women in the Greens are leading the way,” said Willisa Hogarth, Convenor of the Victorian Greens.
“While we still have a long way to go to achieve equal gender representation in politics, it’s heartening to see that more than 40 per cent of Mayors across Victoria are women.”
“The Victorian Greens have long championed women in leadership roles, and continue to develop ways to support women standing for election at all levels of government.”
In Victoria, while an improvement on previous years, only 35 per cent of Councillors are women. Research suggests that when women stand for council they are just as likely as men to be elected, however, they often don’t stand. With greater representation of women in leadership roles we hope that they can serve to be role models for other women to enter politics.
Last year, the Victorian Greens formalised the Women’s Network, with the aim to promote women within the party and campaign for women candidates in elections. As the group grows, they plan on organising more programs such as mentorship programs, media training opportunities, public speaking workshops, and more. The network also hopes to increase the number of social events in the future to celebrate the success of women in the party.
The 2016 local government election campaign was the biggest of its kind, and it has paid off with results that we hope will carry through to the 2018 state election where a number of lower house seats are up for grabs for the party.
Image: Victorian Greens Women’s Network post-election celebration