Melbourne University launches knowledge hub for women with political ambitions

By Melissa Coade

March 17, 2022

melbourne university
The Pathways to Politics Program for Women is run from Melbourne University. (Image: Adobe/陵 飯島)

A non-partisan program to advance female participation in Australian politics has launched a new knowledge hub to share research, articles and interviews that will equip more women with the skills to be elected representatives. 

The Pathways to Politics Program for Women, run out of Melbourne University in partnership with Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and the Trawalla Foundation, has been training participants for six years now with 15 of its alumni winning electoral success at all levels of government

Since the program started, a collaborative network of interstate programs has been established with partner universities QUT and UNSW. 

The program unveiled a new online content library this month with contributions from politicians, advocates, academics and journalists and advocates. It includes thought-leading research, articles, interviews, and other resources. 

Alumni and author of Get Elected Ruth McGowan, journalist Annabel Crabb, and Dilin Duwa Centre for Indigenous Business Leadership director Associate Professor Michelle Evans have added their expertise to the knowledge hub. 

Dr Julie Wells, Melbourne University’s vice-president (strategy and culture) said she expected at least 20 program alumni to contest seats in state and federal elections for 2022.

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

“The university is proud to be a founding partner in the program and congratulates the team on the launch of the knowledge hub,” she added. 

Pathways to Politics director Dr Meredith Martin said participants in this year’s program would develop a useful network of peers.

“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,” she said. 

Melbourne University is inviting eligible women to apply to participate in its 10 module program that will run from July to November. Applications will be accepted until 26 April. 

Business leader Carol Schwartz, who chairs Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and the Trawalla Foundation, said this was 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,” Schwartz said.


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