Pathways to Politics for Women broadens reach to WA and TAS, empowering diverse women in every state and territory to pursue politics

A group of 12 diverse women standing outside a historical parliament building. They are smiling as a young woman in their group takes a selfie of the group.
Media release

Pathways to Politics for Women will go fully national in 2024 with the introduction of its award-winning program to Western Australia and Tasmania, boosting gender equality and diversity in Australian politics nationwide.

The inaugural Western Australian and Tasmanian programs will run in partnership with The University of Western Australia and the University of Tasmania.

Pathways to Politics for Women is increasing the number of women in Australian politics by equipping diverse women to boldly embrace their political ambitions, thrive as leaders and make a profound contribution to society.

With the addition of The University of Western Australia and the University of Tasmania to its partner network, Pathways to Politics is now a truly national program, providing women from all corners of Australia and all walks of life the opportunity to engage in political leadership and contribute to the future of the nation.

“Australian democracy, like all democracies everywhere, needs diverse voices; and we need those voices speaking confidently and powerfully. The Pathway to Politics for Women program will help nurture WA’s future political leaders. I am delighted that the program will be led by UWA’s Centre for Public Value and the UWA Public Policy Institute,” said Professor Amit Chakma, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Australia.

Professor Kate Darian-Smith, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania, also welcomed the new Pathways to Politics program at the University:

“We know it is more difficult for women to enter politics and, once there, the scrutiny can be greater. It has never been more important for us to encourage women, from all kinds of backgrounds, to bring their perspectives to our councils and parliaments.”

“Pathways to Politics for Women will help remove the barriers faced by Tasmanian women and make our democracy more representative of the community.”

In the last eight years Pathways to Politics has helped hundreds of women to run for office and achieve 33 electoral successes nationally across the political spectrum and at all levels of government.

An initiative of the Trawalla Foundation, Women’s Leadership Institute and the University of Melbourne, the proudly non-partisan programs are uniquely designed in collaboration with leading university partners across Australia, tailored to each local context. Since launching at the University of Melbourne in 2016, Pathways to Politics has expanded to include partner programs at QUT, UNSW, Charles Darwin University, the University of Adelaide and University of Canberra.

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.

“We are thrilled to welcome The University of Western Australia and the University of Tasmania as partners in our commitment to get more diverse women into our parliaments and councils. This is a significant milestone as we become fully national, ensuring women right across Australia can access Pathways to Politics.” Ms Schwartz said.

“We’re excited about the wealth of expertise that these universities will bring – not only by delivering comprehensive programs for women in their respective states, but also the contributions they will offer the national Pathways to Politics network to collectively change the face of politics in Australia.”

Applications for the 2024 Pathways to Politics for Women programs across Australia open in early 2024. Prospective applicants can submit an expression of interest via this form to be notified when applications open.

Media enquiries

Trawalla Foundation
Arielle Rutman | 0400 543 331 |

The University of Tasmania
David Beniuk | 0400 339 620 |

The University of Western Australia
Dr Margaret Lindley | E:

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