Significant momentum building for women running for office as Pathways to Politics opens applications

Pathways to Politics Program for Women has realised significant impact in advancing female political participation since it launched in 2016, with 20 electoral successes achieved nationally across the political spectrum at local, state and federal levels of government.

The majority of alums intend to run for elected office in the next ten years, and at least 20 alums are poised to run in the forthcoming 2022 federal and Victorian state elections.

Now in its seventh year, Pathways to Politics Program for Women has opened for applications today. Since launching in Victoria with founding partner University of Melbourne, the program has now expanded to New South Wales with UNSW and Queensland with QUT.

Our state-based programs are open to female-identifying and non-binary residents of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and have no cost for participants. The program has a practical, experiential format that supports your active participation through workshops, case studies, networking opportunities, panel discussions and Q&As with high-profile guest presenters from across the political spectrum, including politicians, journalists, analysts, advisors and strategists.

‘You cannot be what you cannot see. That’s why the Pathways to Politics program is so important – it provides a window into the experience of those who have been politically successful.’ – Dr Katie Allen MP, Pathways to Politics alum

‘I couldn’t have asked for a better way to build confidence to run in and win my first election than being a part of the Pathways to Politics program in 2016. It was inspiring and motivating to hear from the women that had made it before. They told us what it was really like, but why we should do it anyway.’ – Cr Susanne Newton, Pathways to Politics alum

‘It made such a difference to have incredible women from across the political spectrum, encouraging and supporting me all the way with skills, development and knowledge. This Program is crucial – more women in parliament better reflects our community’s values and experiences. – Juliana Addison MP, Pathways to Politics alum

Further information about the program and application process can be found here.

Pathways to Politics was initiated through the vision of Carol Schwartz AO, Chair of the Trawalla Foundation, who fundamentally believes in the value of more female leaders. For Carol this is about optimising outcomes for our country by ensuring that men and women together share power, leadership and decision making.

Quotes attributable to Carol Schwartz AO:

‘I am proud of the national momentum we are building – together we are literally changing the face of Australian politics.’

‘This is a critical moment of change for women in public office. Equal representation will shape culture, decision making, collaboration, and ultimately reflect community issues in a more fulsome way.’

‘It is essential that we address the gender balance of our parliaments, and we are taking practical action by supporting genuinely diverse cohorts of women to run for office.’

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Bella Skelton 0432 016 869,

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