Applications open 6 March - 24 April 2024

Pathways to Politics kicks off 2023 programs in Queensland and Victoria

Large group of diverse women posed in a semi-circle, QUT and Pathways to Politics logos on a screen behind

Last week, the Pathways to Politics Program for Women welcomed its first two cohorts for 2023 – the Queensland cohort at QUT and the Victorian cohort at the University of Melbourne.

We have an abundance of exceptionally accomplished and ambitious women from across the political spectrum joining the program this year, and there is an overwhelming sense of excitement and optimism for the journey ahead.

With an unprecedented number of applicants for the 2023 intake, it is evident that women across the nation are determined to make their voices heard and drive real change. Our 2023 cohorts comprise women from diverse professional, political and cultural backgrounds, each bringing their unique experiences and perspectives.

Large group of diverse women sitting on bleacher-style seating
University of Melbourne 2023 cohort
Large group of diverse women posed in a semi-circle, QUT and Pathways to Politics logos on a screen behind
QUT 2023 cohort

By offering training, mentorship, and guidance, Pathways to Politics provides aspiring female politicians with the necessary skills, knowledge, networks and confidence to run for office and thrive as political leaders.

On the first of three weekend workshops, our new QUT cohort, who had gathered from across Queensland, heard from 21 guest speakers from across the political spectrum and across the country. Topics included making the decision to run, navigating parliamentary workplace culture, political planning and creating your own style. The cohort spent time exploring their stories and what their political future may look like. They were joined by Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie and Hon Karen Andrews MP who shared their stories and reflections on why they decided to go into politics, and how they created and now articulate their political vision.

On day one of the University of Melbourne program, participants were treated to a Q&A with Pathways alums Pamela Anderson (CEO Emily’s List), Gaelle Broad MP (Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Northern Victoria), Cr. Jenna Davey-Burns (City of Kingston), Cr. Angelica Panopoulos (Mayor of Merri-bek City Council) and Georgie Purcell MP (Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Northern Victoria). Panel members generously gave their time to workshop with participants authentic and compelling ways to articulate their values and political vision.

Participants in both states shared how transformational the first sessions were.

Throughout the program, our new cohorts will continue to engage in workshops, seminars and networking events with experienced politicians, advisers, speechmakers, media trainers and community leaders. These interactions will enable them to develop essential skills, build connections, and gain valuable insights into the inner workings of the political arena.

Many of our alums have gone on to make substantial contributions to public life – since launching in 2016, the program has seen a remarkable 30 electoral successes nationally across the political spectrum at local, state and federal levels of government.

With the addition of our 2023 cohorts, we are optimistic that the future of politics in Australia will become increasingly diverse, representative, and inclusive.


The NSW Pathways to Politics program, run in partnership with UNSW Sydney, will launch next month, alongside our inaugural South Australian program in partnership with the University of Adelaide, and inaugural ACT program in partnership with University of Canberra. Our Northern Territory program will follow this September at Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute in Darwin.


Thank you

The QUT program would like to thank the following politicians and speakers who contributed to the first workshop: Jonty Bush MP, Julie-Ann Campbell, Kitty Carr, Laura Churchill, Cr Kara Cook, Senator Dorinda Cox, Lauren Day, Pia du Pradal , Cr Amy Eden, Lana Gishkariany, Dr Helen Haines MP, Mayor Jenny Hill, Taylor-Rose Hull, Cr Sarah Hutton, Senator Jacqui Lambie, Kim McKillop, Melinda Morgan, Cr Natalia Muszkat, Fiona Simpson MP and Mayor Danielle Slade.

The University of Melbourne program would like to thank Pamela Anderson, Gaelle Broad MP, Cr. Jenna Davey-Burns, Cr. Angelica Panopoulos, Georgie Purcell MP, Uncle Bill Nicholson, and workshop facilitators Stacey Ong and Joanne Shane (One Red Step).

Founding Partners

University Partners