Applications open 6 March - 24 April 2024

FAQs


Information for prospective applicants

Pathways to Politics programs are run in every Australian state and territory, uniquely designed in collaboration with eight of Australia’s leading universities and tailored to your local context.

For more detailed information about the program in your state or territory, please visit their website:

Generally in the later part of the year, around July-November.

However, program schedules differ between each state/territory. Some programs are delivered as full-time, face-to-face intensives over the course of a week. Others are delivered part-time across three to four months, and may be delivered as a mixture face-to-face and online sessions.

Planned module dates and times will be listed here when they are confirmed.

Nothing! Program participation is fully funded through the generous support of the Trawalla Foundation, university partners and other philanthropic partners.

Accommodation and travel bursaries may be available for selected participants in regional and remote areas.

Meals are often provided during in-person sessions.

Pathways to Politics for Women programs are open to women across Australia. We embrace an inclusive definition of ‘women’, acknowledging the diversity of women we work with and aim to support, including cisgender and transgender women, and non-binary people.

To be eligible to apply, you do not need to be enrolled at the participating university, be a graduate of that university, or hold any tertiary or higher education qualifications.

Eligibility requirements may vary slightly between our state/territory programs and will be clearly outlined in the application form.

No! We partner with eight of Australia’s leading universities to design and deliver our programs, but you don’t need to be enrolled or have attended any of the universities in order to participate. In fact, it is not a requirement to have a tertiary degree at all in order to be eligible for the program.

Generally, there are between 12-25 participants accepted into each of our state/territory programs each year. Numbers can vary depending on the field of applicants.

Participants are selected on a competitive basis. Our selection process actively works to minimise barriers to entering politics, and prioritises community and professional experience as well as commitment to running for office.

The selection criteria are as follows:

  • Commitment to seeking elected office
  • Professional and life experience
  • Political engagement
  • Ability to tell your story in a compelling way.

All applications are reviewed by a Selection Committee, which place a strong emphasis on multi-partisanship and equity in selection.

The program provides a safe space for women of diverse backgrounds, professions, cultures, and ideologies to fulfill their shared aspiration to pursue public office.

We expect to open applications for the 2024 program in March 2024.

If you are interested in applying, you can submit an expression of interest via this form to be notified when applications are open.

Modules differ slightly between each state/territory, but cover topics such as:

  • political vision
  • campaign planning
  • media training
  • speech-writing
  • leadership skills

The program is delivered as a mix of workshops, presentations and practical exercises provided in a respectful and supported environment. For example, you will be given professional media training, write your own political stump speech with assistance from an expert political speechwriter, and will deliver your speech to an audience (usually in parliament).

You will also participate in Q&A’s and presentations from a range of prominent politicians, advisors and other experts to give you confidence and clarity about your future in politics.

Throughout the program you will meet a range of sitting and retired politicians and have the opportunity to ask about their first-hand experiences of navigating the challenges of political life through Q&A’s and workshops.

Once you complete the program you’ll be eligible to apply for the Pathways Alum Mentoring program (PAM). PAM runs annually and is designed to empower and support our alums who are intending to run for office in the next five years. PAM runs for approximately eight months, with a minimum of four one-hour mentoring sessions.

Mentors from across the political spectrum are formally matched to alums to support their political aspirations by:

  • Understanding the mentee’s political journey to date;
  • Providing practical guidance around potential strategies to become elected;
  • Providing a safe place for discussion without judgement;
  • Challenging assumptions and preconceptions about how to succeed;
  • Encouraging self-directed reflection, analysis and problem solving; and
  • Acting as a trusted mentor that maintains alum confidence, motivation, and resilience in their pursuit of public office.

Application form information

Applications for the 2024 program will open in March. To be alerted when they are open, please register your details via our expressions of interest form.

Application forms must be completed through an online platform called SmartyGrants. You can find the link to SmartyGrants here once applications have opened.

Application forms may differ slightly between programs, but are generally comprised of the following sections:

  • Eligibility questions: These short questions help our Selection Committee to determine your eligibility for the program.
  • Experience and political journey: These questions help us understand more about your political aspirations, experience, and your motivation and commitment to run for election. Free text questions have a word-limit of 250 words.
  • Your ‘elevator pitch’: A 90 second video where you tell us what issue(s) are important to you and what you would highlight about your values and life experience that might connect with voters and persuade them that if elected you would make a difference.
  • CV: You will be required to upload your CV. Please ensure it is no longer than two pages and includes two referees.

The form will require a few hours of your time. Successful applicants take the time to answer questions carefully, in full, and showcase their unique political aspirations, motivations, skills and experiences that demonstrate their commitment to running for election.

Our application platform, Smartygrants, allows you to save your application form as a work in progress, so you can complete it over several days if you need to. We won’t have access to any part of your application until you’ve reviewed and submitted it.

Many of our programs require you to submit a video ‘elevator pitch’ as part of your application. The video format offers us a personalised insight into your values, experiences and commitment and allows for a genuine showcase of your communication skills and a compelling narrative that goes beyond the confines of a traditional written application.

If you are asked to upload a video as part of your application, we highly recommend you carefully script and time the video to a maximum of 90 seconds. You can find advice on writing an elevator pitch, or political “stump speech”, on the Pathways to Politics Knowledge Hub.

You will need to upload your completed video to a file sharing site (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox) or video hosting site (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo) and then copy the link into your application form. Please ensure the video or fileshare is set to ‘Public’ BEFORE you submit your application.

While the video pitch is an important component of the application, we understand there may be technical reasons that you cannot complete this component. If this is the case, please reach out to the program contact in your state/territory to discuss options:

Applications are reviewed by a state/territory based Selection Committee, who place a strong emphasis on multi-partisanship and equity in selection. The Selection Committees are comprised of state/territory program Directors, Advisory Committee members and senior university staff.

Participants are selected on a competitive basis. Our selection process actively works to minimise barriers to entering politics, and prioritises community and professional experience as well as commitment to running for office.

The selection criteria are as follows:

  • Commitment to seeking elected office
  • Professional and life experience
  • Political engagement
  • Ability to tell your story in a compelling way.

The program provides a safe space for women of diverse backgrounds, professions, cultures, and ideologies to fulfill their shared aspiration to pursue public office.

Founding Partners

University Partners