Pathways to Politics for Women (NSW)
Changing the face of politics
Changing the face of politics
The program seeks to address the underrepresentation of women in Australian politics. It is an initiative of the Trawalla Foundation, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and University of Melbourne and is delivered in partnership with state and territory-based university partners University of Melbourne, QUT, UNSW, Charles Darwin University, The University of Adelaide, University of Canberra, The University of Tasmania and The University of Western Australia. You can find out more about the Pathways to Politics national network at pathwaystopolitics.org.au.
The program is running for the fourth time in NSW in 2024, delivered by UNSW. It is hosted by the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Law & Justice, with support from the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UNSW, the Australian Graduate School of Management at the UNSW Business School, the Australian Human Rights Institute, and the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture.
Pathways to Politics brings together significant expertise and experience from across Australia’s political spectrum to provide participants with networking opportunities and practical training that emphasises good governance, ethics and leadership. The program supports a strong and inclusive cohort culture.
Pathways to Politics has realised significant impact in advancing female political participation since it launched in 2016, with 34 electoral successes achieved nationally across the political spectrum at local, state and federal levels of government. The majority of alums intend to run for elected office in the next ten years.
2024 program dates will be released shortly.
To register your interest in the 2024 program click below.
Through the program, I got to meet so many awesome inspiring women leaders who are all creating awesome change. Also, through the program I got teamed up with a mentor, who I have already learnt so much from and will continue in the future. As well as creating some amazing connections through the program I also gained many new skills including public speaking skills, how best to use social media, speech writing, goal setting and more.
- Takesa Frank, 2021 NSW program alum
I've always felt compelled to serve. The value of this program was it made me think about the contribution I wanted to make to my community. It made me be brave and bold and see a bigger role for what that contribution might look like. It was a wonderfully supportive environment and gave me a unique opportunity to meet a cohort of women across the political spectrum who are all guided by the desire to serve their community.
- Sally Sitou, 2021 NSW program alum and Federal Member for Reid
The Pathways to Politics Program is phenomenal. An insightful and prodigious program which equips women with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in politics. I highly recommend this Program.
- Rebecca Pun, 2021 NSW program alum
UNSW’s Pathways to Politics for Women may just have changed my life. I was contemplating putting my hat in the political ring when I started it, but by the end - I could not have been more determined to get elected to federal Parliament. Through an unbelievable line up of experts, academics and current and former politicians, the course gave me the insight, skills, and most importantly, the confidence I needed to take the leap.
I’m right in midst of my campaign for the federal seat of Hughes in the 2022 election, running as an Independent. Win or lose, it’s been the adventure of a lifetime, and I have Pathways to Politics to thank for it.
- Georgia Steele, 2021 NSW program alum and Candidate for Hughes in the 2022 Federal Election
In 2024 the NSW program is free for successful applicants, who will be selected on a competitive basis. Any questions not addressed in the FAQs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
2024 dates will be released shortly.
The 2023 NSW program will run from 3 August to 15 September 2023. The first, second and last sessions will be held in person in Sydney, with all other sessions being delivered online on Wednesday evenings.
The program will feature guest presenters from across the political spectrum including politicians from all levels of government (both sitting and retired), public speaking professionals, advisors, public policy experts, senior academics, and leading figures in Australian political and public life.
The structure of each session will vary, and will include panel discussions, workshops, seminars, Q&A discussions, practical work and networking opportunities. Participants are expected to attend a minimum of 8 out of the 10 sessions.
Topics covered will include:
The Program Advisory Committee meets on a regular basis to provide strategic oversight and ensure the high quality of the Program.
What is Pathways to Politics for Women?
Pathways to Politics for Women is a national, proudly non-partisan initiative that aims to change the face of politics by equipping women with the skills, knowledge, confidence and networks they need to run for elected office and thrive as political leaders.
This initiative of the Trawalla Foundation, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and University of Melbourne seeks to address the underrepresentation of women in Australian politics, and is delivered in partnership with state and territory-based university partners University of Melbourne, QUT, UNSW, Charles Darwin University, The University of Adelaide, University of Canberra, The University of Tasmania and The University of Western Australia.
Pathways to Politics for Women was developed in consultation with the Harvard Kennedy School, inspired by their long-running From Harvard Square to the Oval Office practicum. The foundational Pathways to Politics for Women program launched at University of Melbourne in 2016, followed by QUT in 2019, UNSW in 2021, Charles Darwin University in 2022 and University of Canberra and The University of Adelaide in 2023. The program partners are proud to work collaboratively to increase women’s representation in politics across Australia.
In NSW, the program is being run for the fourth time in 2024, by UNSW with the support of the Trawalla Foundation and the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia.
Am I eligible to apply for this Program?
There are specific eligibility requirements for this program. Applicants for the NSW program must:
How many participants will there be?
In 2023, the program will accept up to 30 applicants.
How are participants selected?
Participants will be selected on a competitive basis. The selection criteria are as follows:
All applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of representatives from UNSW and Trawalla Foundation. The Committee will place strong emphasis on multi-partisanship and equity in selection and seeks a cohort of women with diverse life and professional experiences.
The program is committed to minimising barriers to enter politics. As such, applicants identified by the Selection Committee as coming from an equity cohort will be prioritised. To be eligible to apply for a position in this equity category applicants must satisfy the application selection criteria, and also meet one or more of the following criteria:
When will I know if my application is successful?
We aim to advise all applicants of the outcome of the application process in late-May 2023.
How long does the Program run for? How many sessions will there be?
The 2023 NSW program will run from 3 August to 15 September 2023. The program will be delivered through a mix of face-to-face and online modules: the sessions on 3, 4 August and 15 September will be held in-person in Sydney, while all other sessions will be delivered online on Wednesday evenings.
Do I have to attend every session of the Program?
Selected participants should plan to attend all sessions. At a minimum, selected participants are expected to attend at least eight out of the ten sessions (including the first in-person session). Participants who are not able to commit to at least eight sessions may be asked to withdraw from the program.
How much does the Program cost?
The program is FREE for the selected participants. The Program is generously funded by the Trawalla Foundation and the University of New South Wales.
What is involved with the application?
There are five parts to applying to the program in NSW:
1. Eligibility questions: these short questions help our committee to determine your eligibility for the program.
2. Valuing diversity question: this question helps our committee to ensure equity considerations are taken into account in the application process.
3. Party affiliation: this question helps our committee ensure political diversity within our cohort.
4. Scenario-based questions: these five questions will help us understand more about your professional skills including leadership, strategy and your commitment to run. These questions have a 250 word limit.
5. CV: Attach your CV: ensure your CV is no longer than three pages and includes three referees (please provide name, contact details and position description for each referee, but do not provide a reference from any of them).
Additionally, you must agree to be bound by the Code of Conduct for participants before you can be accepted onto the Program.
If you have any questions not covered by these FAQs, please email email@example.com
Photo acknowledgement: Pathways to Politics photos have been supplied by The Pixel Collective.