Mornington Peninsula Shire’s deputy mayor Cr Sarah Race, pictured, has been appointed to the state government’s Gender Equality Advisory Committee.
The committee was established to “drive” gender equality across Victoria’s 79 municipal councils and will advise Local Government Minister Shaun Leane and the Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams, on how to achieve the government’s target of 50 per cent female mayors and councillors by 2025.
Seven of Mornington Peninsula Shire’s 11 councillors are women, about 63 per cent, including the mayor, Cr Despi O’Connor.
The appointment of Cr Race to the 16-member gender committee follows Cr O’Connor’s inclusion on the government’s Local Government Mayoral Advisory Panel, which also advises and meets with Mr Leane (“Mayors now govt. advisors” The News 6/4/21).
The committee of which Cr Race is now a member (until 31 December 2025) will also focus on implementing equality measures in the Local Government Act 2020 and the Gender Equality Act 2020, which is aimed at improving workplace gender equality across the state’s public sector, including councils.
The gender committee is co-chaired by state MPs Kat Theophanous and Juliana Addison.
Cr Race said about 43 per cent of Victorian councillors were women which meant “there is still a long way to go to achieve equality”.
She said the shire was “in a good position to share our perspectives, ideas and experiences with other councils and with the Victorian government”. Following this month’s election of Cr Susan Bissinger in Nepean Ward (“Council candidate wins seat on second count” The News 20/4/21).