SA baracks for women in local government

By Staff Writer

South Australian councils have selected four ambassadors to raise awareness for women in local government.

The sector has recognised 2010 as the national Year of Women in Local Government (YoWILG) to highlight the important contribution women make to the sector.

South Australia nominated 25 women as potential national ambassadors, with four being selected to represent the state.

The successful nominees are Jane Featherstonehaugh, deputy chief executive officer and director of finance and community services from the District Council of Grant; Tanya Hook, project officer from Tea Tree Gully; Cr Angela Keneally from Charles Sturt; and Rebecca Thomas, general manager of city services from Holdfast Bay, who has been named Young Ambassador.

The SA women will be joined by 11 other ambassadors from other states and territories.

SA Local Government Association president, Felicity-Ann Lewis, said women were still under-represented in the sector.

“Currently only 26.6 per cent of council members in SA are women, including women in the mayoral position,” she said.

“16 per cent of senior managers in councils are women and only four of the 68 councils statewide have female CEOs.

“The situation is improving and the recognition of women in local government in a year long national event will hopefully encourage more women to look to local government as an employer of choice and also with a view to servicing on council.

“The contribution that women make to local government, both as employees and as elected members, is important to ensure that whole communities are represented.”

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