Candidates prepare for local government elections
Author and campaign expert Ruth McGowan OAM was in town this week to help potential candidates and supporters prepare for the 2021 local elections during the Council’s Get Elected workshop.
Ms McGowan, author of Australia’s first national Get Elected campaign guide, and former mayor and councilor, provided participants with practical tips and tools to plan their campaign.
A strong believer in the importance of diversity in the boardroom, McGowan said she hopes to see more women and people from diverse backgrounds elected to Wagga Wagga City Council in 2021.
“A lot of women have the skills to be great councilors and mayors, but don’t know how to translate that into a campaign that helps them get elected,” Ms. McGowan said.
Ms. McGowan’s workshop provided participants with practical tools on campaign management, such as budgets, election spending obligations, developing election materials, maximizing social media, a respectful and ethical campaign. and fundraising tips.
Manager, Governance and Risk Ingrid Hensley was delighted with the success of the Council’s electoral workshops.
“We have now run three well-attended workshops, and it was a great way to end our candidate briefings, providing practical advice from someone with political experience and explaining more complex policy areas such as as group tickets and how voting works, including preferences, ”said Hensley.
Ms McGowan explained the motivation behind her popular how-to book, Get Elected.
“There is no country school to go to, so I wrote Get Elected to help increase the number of women in politics at the local, state and federal levels,” Ms. McGowan said.
“This is especially important for NSW as it has the lowest female representation in the country for women in local government.
“Local government is the level of government closest to the people, and it works best when we represent the people.
“I would love to see great candidates running for Wagga Wagga City Council, whether young or old, male or female, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, people of diverse cultural backgrounds, people with disabilities – because when we have that diversity at the table, we know we’re getting better decisions.
“I hope that on September 5 or 6, when we look around the Wagga Wagga City Council Chamber, the faces we see are representative of the faces we see on the street.
If you’re considering running for the Board, but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge, McGowan recommends supporting one of this year’s nominees.
“If you have a passion and interest in running for politics… I encourage you to get involved in someone else’s campaign and gain experience.
“You can help this candidate knock on the door, distribute his cards at the kiosks; you can be a scrutineer and see how preferences work.
“Being a candidate is an art and a science, so get in there, because we have a fantastic democracy. Whether you’re a candidate or as a team, it’s great to learn how politics works. “