Councillor Antonella Celi was first elected to the Mornington Peninsula Shire in 2010, has served as Mayor and represents the Seawinds Ward. Antonella has found that by becoming involved with local government it has helped her realise the many qualities and skills that she has, especially the capacity to persist and advocate for issues relevant to her community.
If you are thinking about standing for local government, her advice is “Do it!! Become familiar with all the traditional and modern resources available to you in your kit – and enjoy connecting with others through the networking opportunities that are available.”
Her advice for women thinking about standing for council is to start developing a social media presence online as a communication and networking tool.
Familiarise yourself with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or establish a website that can be used consistently to help build up a profile that is able to engage with others. Social media provide an opportunity for real time updates on information that is important to your networks and information that would otherwise not be available through mainstream media avenues.
Having a presence on a social media platform means that you need to find the time to keep your profile and information relevant and response times regular and up to date. It is also important that social media is used in line with any other Council social media and communications policy and also Councillor Code of Conduct so you need to make yourself familiar with the information available through the Council organisation.
By linking in with the official Council social media pages you can also distribute official information, announcements and media releases through your own pages. Social media platforms can be time consuming so ensure that the profiles are used to network and share information. Should a complex issue arise on social media it is important to refer communication the issue back to the Council organisation procedures to further responses via official correspondence and media releases instead of elaborating on them on social media.
“I have found Facebook and social media platforms very effective as an a networking and communication tool and one that should not be underestimated in reaching out to those in the local area, the wider Australian community and people in other countries.”