Forging women’s pathways into politics honoured with top award
An innovative program to advance female participation in Australian politics has been recognised with a top philanthropy award.
The Pathways to Politics Program for Women has been recognised with the Eve Mahlab AO Gender-wise Philanthropy Award for efforts to advance gender equity by equipping women with the skills, knowledge, and networks to successfully run for elected office.
The University of Melbourne jointly received the award with Program partners the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and the Trawalla Foundation at the 2021 Australian Philanthropy Awards.
The Award was presented by Australians Investing in Women in partnership with Philanthropy Australia and showcases initiatives that strengthen society, through philanthropic investments targeting women and girls to deliver greater gender equality.
Dr Julie Wells, University of Melbourne Vice-President (Strategy and Culture) said the University is delighted by the Program’s success.
“The Program has already changed the face of Australian politics for the better, with more women represented in parliament and stronger support networks ensuring more women will join them,” Dr Wells said.
“The University is incredibly proud of our work with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and the Trawalla Foundation.”
Carol Schwartz AO, chair of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and the Trawalla Foundation, said that it was a privilege to contribute to the advancement of women in political life.
“We have no doubt that the program will continue to grow from strength to strength in the coming years,” Ms Schwartz said.
Dr Meredith Martin, Program Director noted that Carol Schwartz AO’s support of the Program has been critical to its success.
“Carol Schwartz came to the University of Melbourne with a roadmap for change, and the Program’s extraordinary impact is testimony to the clarity of her vision,” Dr Martin said.
The Program has achieved great success in advancing female participation since its inception six years ago, with 14 alumnae from across the political spectrum elected at local, state, and federal levels of government.
A non-partisan initiative, the Program has a practical, experiential format supporting active participation through workshops, case studies, panel discussions, Q&As and fostering strong bonds between participants.
Since launching at the University of Melbourne in 2015, 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.
The University of Melbourne Program is open to female graduates of Victorian universities, with competitive applications for the 2022 cohort opening in early 2022.