Now you're a councillor

Now you're a councillor

A site for women councillors in Victorian local government

“My mentor is always able to help me find ways through conundrums and to gently point out my perceived failings as relayed to her by various people in the community. As such she is a very important antenna and lightening rod. I love her!!”

The challenge for you as a new woman councillor lies in balancing the many personal, community and professional roles you may already have with the new ones you take on as a councillor.  There’s no easy solution to this dilemma but there is some good advice from women councillors who have been through it, and a few tools which may help you sort it out.

Jacinta Ermacoora

Juggling life

“Focus on what you want to do and what you will support, or you can find yourself being a bit overwhelmed… You need to appreciate you can't keep everyone happy and that’s a good life lesson to learn…”

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Micaela Drieberg

Maintaining your support base

“I try to be as approachable as possible, whether it’s by ditching formalities or making myself available to meet with residents out of hours … I follow through on what I said I would do…”

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Melina Sehr with her 3 sons

Mentors

“I learned a lot from watching other councillors dealing with and responding to issues. They really helped me understand what the role involved and how to be a successful councillor…they became my mentors on the job even to this day…”

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Ruth Gstrein

Stay in touch

“Now that you have been elected as their representative on council, it is important to keep in touch with your community and represent the interests in your ward fairly. This can sometimes be a difficult task…”

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Womens Power Handbook

Tips for the long haul

Understand that you don’t know everything, you need networks for feedback and advice, networks that can communicate and act – full of diverse people. Work out how you can trust, who will advise and support you…”

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Alex Monk

Stepping up

Leadership challenges you inwardly, and makes you stronger within yourself…

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