Women X Stand for Council

In the lead up to the 2024 Victorian local government election the MAV is encouraging greater participation of women in local government as councillors, in recognition of their under-representation in this space.

Following the council elections in October 2020, Victoria led the country in terms of the proportion of female councillors, representing a total of 43.8 per cent of councillors. This is a marked increase from the 2016 local government election of a previous high of 38 per cent.

Attracting and informing prospective female candidates aligns with the Victorian Government’s Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy goal of 50 per cent representation by 2025.

Women X Stand For Council - Candidate Information Session

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The MAV is hosting a women-focussed information session in partnership with Kingston City Council on Wednesday 26 June from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at their council office, 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham.

Join us face-to face or online and hear from former councillors Bernadene Voss (City of Port Phillip, 2014-2020), Tamara Barth (City of Kingston 2012-2020) and Cr Claudia Nguyen (councillor at City of Yarra, not standing at the 2024 election) about their experiences of being a councillor.

You will also hear from the Australian Women in Local Government Association (ALGWA) who will outline the program of events, support and mentoring they provide to female councillors and other programs that support women such as Pathways to Politics and Women for Election.

About our panellists

Our three panellists are passionate about women in leadership and local government and will inspire and motivate you to consider standing in the upcoming elections

Bernadene Voss

Currently the CEO at Big Group Hug, Bernadene was a councillor at the City of Port Phillip from 2014 to 2020 and also Mayor for four years in this period. Experienced in a range of leadership positions Bernadene is passionate about helping local communities.

Bernadene Voss


Tamara Barth

Currently working as a Strategic Communications Adviser, Tamara was a councillor at Kingston City Council from 2012- 2020. She was a passionate advocate for the diverse community in her ward experiencing educational and economic disadvantage.

Tamara Barth


Claudia Nguyen

Cr Claudia Nguyen was elected to Yarra City Council in November 2020 and served as Mayor in 2023. Born in Yarra, Claudia Nguyen is an independent councillor of Vietnamese Heritage with a strong interest in youth empowerment, supporting migrant communities, and celebrating LGBTQIA+ communities. She is a Senior Policy Officer, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Claudia is not standing again in the upcoming election.

Claudia Nguyen

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Pathways to Politics

Pathways to Politics for Women is a proudly non-partisan program, designed in collaboration between the University of Melbourne and seven other leading universities across Australia, tailored to the Victorian context.

The 2024 program will be delivered as a combination of face-to-face and online sessions between August-October 2024 in preparation for the upcoming local government elections. Participants gain first-hand insights from prominent politicians, advisors, speechwriters and media trainers to give them confidence and clarity about their future in politics in a safe, supportive environment.

Register your interest in applying for the 2025 program on the Pathways to Politics website.

To find out more practical tools, information and inspiration to help you stand for council, check out the Pathways to Politics
Knowledge Hub.

Women in Election

To inform and support prospective female candidates, Women for Election Australia are hosting candidate training sessions across the state that aim to equip and up-skill women to run as a candidates for the upcoming local government elections.

The Women for Election EQUIP: Candidate Training Program is a highly practical non-partisan workshop that provides women with the key knowledge of how to campaign at all levels of government. Participants will learn about the tools and techniques to enable you to run for office, be the best candidate you can be, or assist another woman with her political campaign.

Resources for women

City of KingstonPathways to Politics for WomenWomen for Election