Women for Election, an organisation that inspires and equips more women to run for public office in Australia across all levels of government, is bringing their free training session to Sale this Thursday.

As Australia struggles to reach gender equality in politics, and two billion people around the world head to the polls for the biggest global election year in history, Women for Election is calling on women to ‘Calculate Your CALIBRE’ and recognise their potential as future political candidates.

Designed by the not-for-profit organisation, the CALIBRE model provides practical support for women seeking to enter politics, and asks women to assess their Community Aligned Leadership in Brave Representation of Everyone.

Licia Heath, chief executive of Women for Election, said that women across the country demonstrate CALIBRE every day in their communities, through their leadership roles in schools, sports teams or in regional business.

“Research consistently shows that diverse groups of people lead to better, more inclusive policy outcomes. With so many state and territory elections, including local government elections coming up in Australia in 2024, now is the perfect time for women to think about running for political office,” Ms Heath said.

To support those interested in running, Women for Election is managing its first national EQUIP Roadshow, aimed at providing women with the vital skills they need to run for office. Sessions will focus on providing a highly practical and non-partisan workshop that speaks to how women can be the best candidate they can be at all levels of government.

“Women who attend our programs are there for a multitude of reasons. Some want to run for office, some want to help another woman get elected, and some want to understand more about Australia’s political process,” Ms Heath told the Gippsland Times.

“They all leave feeling more confident and informed about how to get elected or how to engage more in Australia’s democracy.

“Women represent more than half of our population and bring a different lived experience to problem-solving and decision-making. Their experience is essential to strong policymaking, building thriving communities, and improving political culture and we’re thrilled to bring our training to the women of Sale.”

Ms Heath said that federal and state representation across the region was “stubbornly male dominated”.

“Whilst it’s pleasing to see a number of women on councils across the region, including in Wellington, Latrobe, East and South Gippsland and Baw Baw Council, we’re only ever one election away from going backwards. We know that Australia’s male-only councils exist in regional and rural areas only, and the majority of councils with only one woman councillor also tend to be in regional and rural Australia,” she said.

“Which is why Women for Election is focussed on ensuring women in regional parts of the country have access to our training events – we want them to see that the amazing work they already do in communities, often in a volunteer capacity, uses skillsets that are completed transferable to public office.

“Having trained over 3000 women in the last four years, we have had a front row seat watching women engage more in Australian politics! We’re looking forward to seeing more women on the ballot paper in the Victorian local government elections this October.”

The Sale event will run at Nakunbalook at the Botanical Gardens, Guthridge Parade, this Thursday, May 9 from 9am until 3pm. All attendees will gain access to an Australian-first digital product for ongoing support, Campaign in Your Pocket.

Further details on how to register for events can be found at wfe.org.au/events/