Women in Tweed Shire with an interest in running for council are invited to attend a free forum to be hosted later this month by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association of NSW.
ALGWA NSW is a non-party political national organisation committed to increasing the number of women as elected representatives for their communities, and highlighting the crucial role of women in local government.
The organisation hopes to encourage more women than ever to run for council around the state in September’s elections.
Mayor of Tweed Shire Council, Cr Chris Cherry, will provide an official welcome at the Tweed forum, which will be held at Tweed Heads Administration Office on Tuesday 27 April from 10am-12pm, immediately prior to the candidate briefing sessions to be hosted by council later that day.
Penrith City Mayor Karen McKeown and Cr Denise Wilton, a former mayor at Mosman Council, will present at the forum. Both councillors are executive committee members of ALGWA NSW.
The Tweed forum is part of a state-wide campaign to encourage, inform and support potential female councillors. It includes 23 meetings in locations ranging from Dubbo to Blacktown, Gunnedah to Griffith, and Wagga to Wollondilly.
Latest figures from the Office of Local Government show women represent just 31 per cent of the 1300 councillors serving on the state’s 128 local councils. NSW currently has the second lowest number of female councillors nationally, after South Australia.
The President of ALGWA NSW, Cr Cassandra Coleman said, ‘There’s nothing more rewarding than serving in the level of government closest to the community and I encourage any woman thinking about standing for their community to attend one of these worthwhile forums.’
Tweed Shire General Manager Troy Green said it was crucial women’s voices were heard at council.
‘Women should be better represented in the decision-making process of local government and I encourage anyone thinking of running for council to attend the forum,’ he said.
‘Council deals with the everyday things that make living in the Tweed so good – such as roads, rubbish, water, sewerage, parks, beaches, and the list goes on.
‘The role of councillor therefore requires a significant time commitment and this needs to be considered when making the decision to run for election,’ said Mr Green.
Process and lived experience
The Tweed forum is specifically aimed at women considering running for local government election in September and will focus on the process involved, as well as the current situation in NSW and the lived experience of being a councillor.
The forum is free of charge, but bookings are limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. Prospective female candidates interested in attending the forum should make a booking at: https://tweedwomensforumalgwa.eventbrite.com.au.
To book into a candidate briefing session, visit www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Elections.
The next two candidate briefing sessions will be held on Tuesday 27 April at Tweed Heads Administration Office. The three-hour sessions will take place from 1pm and repeated again at 5.30pm.
For further information on the election, including how to register as a candidate, visit the NSW Electoral Commission at www.elections.nsw.gov.au or phone 1300 135 736.