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Changing the face of politics

Applications for our 2022 program have now closed.

The University of Melbourne Pathways to Politics Program for Women is a proudly non-partisan initiative that aims 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.

An initiative of the Trawalla Foundation, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and University of Melbourne, our program is a part of a national Pathways to Politics partnership that seeks to address the underrepresentation of women in Australian politics. We are proud to be working collaboratively with a national network of universities who share our mission to change the face of politics in Australia. You can find out more about the Pathways to Politics national network at pathwaystopolitics.org.au.

The University of Melbourne program is open to female-identifying and non-binary residents of Victoria.

Pathways to Politics brings together significant expertise and experience from across Australia’s political spectrum. We will provide you with networking opportunities and practical training that emphasises good governance, ethics, and leadership.

We are committed to diversity and to supporting a strong and inclusive cohort culture to equip you with the skills, knowledge, confidence and networks to run for elected office.

You will become part of a large, supportive network of diverse and highly motivated women from a range of political, professional, and cultural backgrounds, all dedicated to making a tangible difference to the political landscape.

Pathways to Politics has realised significant impact in advancing female political participation since it launched in 2016, with 21 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 we anticipate approximately 15 will be running in the forthcoming Victorian state election. Learn more about our alums who have been elected here.

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Pathways to Politics for Women was featured in these articles in The Age and The Guardian in 2020.

For more than 20 years I've been passionate about improving the quality of leadership and decision making in Australia. Sadly, Australia continues to suffer from a chronic underrepresentation of women in leadership positions and currently ranks as 51st in the world when it comes to the representation of women in government.

- Carol Schwartz AO, Chair, Trawalla Foundation

It has been wonderful to see the program's practical outcomes, and the positive impact it’s had on the conversation around representation of women in parliament.

- Professor Duncan Maskell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Melbourne