Women invited to forge pathway into politics as new knowledge hub launches

The Pathways to Politics Program for Women
The Pathways to Politics Program for Women is a non-partisan initiative to change the face of politics in Australia.

An innovative program to advance female participation in Australian politics is calling for new participants and launching a knowledge hub, sharing leading research, articles and interviews on the eve of International Women’s Day 2022.

The Pathways to Politics Program for Women is a non-partisan initiative aiming to change the face of politics by equipping women with the skills, knowledge, confidence and networks they need to run for elected office and thrive as political leaders.

The University of Melbourne is a founding partner of the program which has achieved great success in advancing female political participation since its inception six years ago, with alumni achieving fifteen electoral successes across  local, state, and federal levels of government.

University of Melbourne Vice-President (Strategy and Culture) Dr Julie Wells, anticipates that at least 20 program alumni nationally will run in this year’s federal and state elections.

“The program has a proven track record in supporting our talented and committed women to achieve elected office across the country,” Dr Wells said.

Director of the University of Melbourne Pathway to Politics Program, Dr Meredith Martin said it offers invaluable experience for women who aspire to enter politics in Australia.

“The 2022 program’s practical, experiential format will support active participation through workshops, case studies, panel discussions and fostering strong bonds between participants – forging invaluable networks.”

Applications for the 2022 University of Melbourne Pathway to Politics Program are now open to female identifying and non-binary residents of Victoria, closing on 26 April, with the program’s ten modules running between July and November.

The University partners with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and the Trawalla Foundation - both chaired by business and community leader Carol Schwartz AO - to deliver the Program.

Also launched today was the Pathways to Politics Knowledge Hub - an online content library created for all women interested in public office in Australia to access practical tools, information and inspiration to run for public office.

The Knowledge Hub will include contributions from leading politicians, advocates, academics and journalists and advocates with thought leading research, articles, interviews, and other topical resources.

“The University is proud to be a founding partner in the program and congratulates the team on the launch of the Knowledge Hub,” Dr Wells said.

Contributors include journalist Annabel Crabb speaking about her recent documentary Ms Represented, Pathways to Politics alumni Ruth McGowan on her book Get Elected, and Associate Professor Michelle Evans, inaugural Director of Dilin Duwa Centre for Indigenous Business Leadership at the University of Melbourne, political scientist Michelle Deshong and Politics in Colour founder Kat Henaway speaking about Australian Indigenous women and political leadership.

Carol Schwartz said: “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.”

Since launching at the University of Melbourne in 2016, Queensland University of Technology and the University of New South Wales have also joined to form a collaborative network of interstate programs based at Australian universities.