12-14 Candidate diversity strategy and thinking about becoming a councillor?
I am writing to inform councils of new resources to help attract people from diverse backgrounds to stand for election to local government.
Despite past efforts to improve representation, the demographic make up of elected councils across NSW does not generally reflect the make up of the communities that they represent. These resources are designed to help councils develop local strategies to attract a diverse range of candidates to stand for election at the upcoming elections in September 2012.
Webpage – Council Elections 2012
A webpage is available on the Division’s website containing resources for councils and others to use to implement local strategies to attract people from
diverse groups to stand for election. The webpage, Council Elections 2012 , includes all of the resources listed below.
Brochures – Stand for your community. Be a councillor.
A series of brochures, developed in partnership with the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW, aim to encourage people from diversity groups to
stand for election by providing information on what is involved. A brochure aimed specifically at encouraging women to stand for election has been developed in partnership with the Australian Local Government Women’s Association. A brochure aimed specifically at encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to stand for election has also been developed. The generic brochure has been translated into community languages. All brochures
are available on the Division’s website.
Publication – Thinking about becoming a councillor?
The Thinking about becoming a councillor? A guide for candidates in NSW publication, updated in cooperation with the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW, provides information to potential candidates to assist them make an informed decision about standing for election. It includes information about what local government is, the role of a councillor, what support is provided to councillors and election processes.
Candidate Information Seminars
The Division is supporting a series of Candidate Information Seminars being organised across NSW by the Election Funding Authority. The Division is providing information aimed at potential candidates to assist them make an informed decision about standing for election. This includes the role and
responsibilities of a councillor, key relationships and what support is provided to councillors. The Australian Local Government Women’s Association has been
invited to share the Division’s platform at the seminars to encourage more women to stand.
Details about these seminars, which are being held between May and July 2012, including some targeted at councils holding their own elections, are
available on the Election Funding Authority’s website. A link to the seminar details is available from the Division’s Council Elections 2012 webpage.
I encourage councils to make use of these resources to attract a more diverse group of candidates for Council and I welcome your views on whether you find them useful.
Councils are requested to provide the Division with information about current or past local strategies that they have used and found successful in attracting
diverse people to stand for election in their area to share with other councils on the webpage. Please contact Helen Gustus on Tel: (02) 4428 4219 or via email:
firstname.lastname@example.org to provide this information.
Chief Executive, Local Government
A Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet