Now you're a councillor

Now you're a councillor

A site for women councillors in Victorian local government

“When I was elected I thought ‘thank goodness it’s all over’ – but you start running straight away.  At first, you feel you need to know everything,  people expect you to be an instant expert!”

The first thing to do is acknowledge that you don’t know everything – everyone knows you’re new to council and you can’t be expected to know it all.  Ask questions about everything that you don’t understand and keep asking till it is clear.  As you learn, keep in mind where you want to go in the next four years.

“I felt I was jumping in at the deep end. I was hesitant about what I was bringing from the perspective of having been home for 13 years. In hindsight that has probably been my greatest advantage.”



Be the councillor you want to be

Staying true to yourself is really important….write your values down and keep them with you at every council meeting. It can be easy to get distracted from them in the hurly-burly of council. Local government is often a tricky place and learning the ropes is no easy task....

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Sharon Ellis

A steep learning curve

Your municipality is comprised of a diverse range of people, interests and activities. To be an effective councillor you need to have a broad range of interests and a willingness to move outside your ‘comfort zone’....

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Joy writing on flip chart

Communicating – where to start?

Where to start: Hot tips for communicating with colleague councillors, council officers and residents plus working with the media…

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Tools of the trade

What tools do you need to get the job done? What are the working entitlements of councillors?

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Get organised

It is inevitable that you will feel overloaded with information so getting your information organised early is a great idea. Here’s some tips about keeping track of it all from experienced councillors. Ask around – experienced councillors you respect will have some good ideas too....

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