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More Powerful Together: Local Government Collaborates

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Councils in Victoria have come together to celebrate the achievements of women and advocate for gender equality on International Women’s Day (IWD).

International Women’s Day takes place annually on 8 March around the world, recognised by United Nations (UN) Women this year under the theme ‘think global, build smart, innovate for change’.

In Australia, the theme for International Women’s Day is ‘More Powerful Together’ to recognise working in collaboration. Gender equality is a key theme of the advocacy undertaken by councils to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in local communities.

The MAV has undertaken some key areas of work in collaboration with the State to enhance the capacity and capability of Victorian councils, implemented in community projects that seek to prevent violence against women.

The Free From Violence Local Government Program has 38 councils in Victoria receiving funding from the State to build on council initiatives.

The projects are diverse in scope, with some focusing on building capability and embedding primary prevention principles and activity in their organisation – while others have an outward focus to scale-up or develop innovative programs tailored to local communities.

Cr Coral Ross, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) said that the IWD theme for Australia is reflective of the efforts by local government to achieve and celebrate these outcomes.

“I am proud to be working with all councils together with the MAV’s first female Chief Executive Officer in the organisation’s 139-year history, Ms Kerry Thompson.

“In the centenary year of the first woman elected to local government – and any tier of government in Australia – it’s pleasing to see all local government peak bodies in Victoria are being led by women.

“Similar to the International Women’s Day theme, our sector is more powerful when we stand together.

“Working together with the State and other peak bodies has been key to ensuring our adequate and effective resourcing for existing advocacy activities, efforts and networks – and the sustained continuation of leadership groups and programs.

"It is so important that we continue to collect and share our stories of local government engagement, leadership and innovation in this space with evidence about what works and what doesn’t.

“We acknowledge and pay tribute today to the efforts of all Victorian councils working to innovate and advocate for women and girls, and celebrate the outcomes they have achieved in local communities.”

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Contact Cr Coral Ross on 0438 005 225 or MAV Communications on 9667 5547.