NSW Government campaign encourages more diversity on councils

NSW councils are encouraging people from all walks of life to consider running for council this year. Picture: Shutterstock
NSW councils are encouraging people from all walks of life to consider running for council this year. Picture: Shutterstock

The NSW Government is calling on women, young people, First Nations people, ethnically diverse people and people of all abilities to run for council this year.

The Stand for Your Community- Diversity Counts campaign aims to increase the number of candidates from under-represented groups at the September 4 election.

The Office of Local Government website states that 'strong and effective councils are those that reflect the diverse communities they serve'.

"If you have a strong sense of community and are keen to make a difference in your local neighbourhood, then you should consider nominating for the September 4 local government elections," it states.

"Councillors represent their local community's needs, wants and aspirations and make important decisions on behalf of their local community.

"You don't need any formal qualifications and you will receive training, support, expenses and fees if you are elected."

Sutherland Shire Council chief executive officer Manjeet Grewal said elected representatives played a pivotal role in ensuring residents voices were reflected in the strategic vision council sets for the community.

"That is why it is so important to ensure that our elected representatives reflect the diversity that exists within our community," she said.

"The diversity of cultural background, the diversity of gender, the diversity of age, the diversity of professional expertise and life experience and diversity of perspectives.

"Council has taken an active role in encouraging all potential candidates from across the Sutherland Shire to consider representing our community in the upcoming local government election.

"No matter your cultural heritage, gender or age - provided you are eligible to vote at an election - local residents who are truly passionate about the Sutherland Shire and are invested in making a positive difference for our collective future are encouraged to step forward."

Bayside Council mayor Joe Awada urged anyone over the age of 18 interested in working for their local community to nominate and run for council, regardless of their gender or cultural background.

"A councillor has an incredible opportunity and responsibility to make a valuable contribution to the local community and improve the quality of life for all residents across the whole of the local government area," he said.

"I am proud to say Bayside is a multicultural community, represented by a diverse group of councillors.

"No one is precluded from running for office based on gender or cultural background, and in September the local community will decide who has the privilege to serve as councillor for the next three years."

Georges River Council did not respond to the Leader's request for comment.