The number of women on Sutherland Shire Council could double at the December 4 election.
Only three of the 15 councillors elected in 2016 were women - Liberals Carol Provan and Marie Simone in A Ward and Labor's Diedree Steinwall in D Ward.
At the upcoming election, at least five women candidates from the major parties are considered certainties and they could well be joined by two others.
A new entrant to council politics is Pam Brown, the former chief executive of the Kookaburra Kids Foundation, which supports children living in families affected by mental illness.
Ms Brown helped build the organisation, which was started by Dianne Madden in 2002, into a trusted national charity.
Ms Brown, who was the Sutherland Shire Citizen of the Year in 2017, heads a new team of independents in B Ward and is rated a strong chance of being elected.
Two of the three B Ward positions are certain to be filled by sitting Labor councillor Jack Boyd and Liberal Party newcomer Louise Sullivan, the president of Netball NSW.
The third spot is expected to be fought out by Ms Brown and sitting Liberal councillor and former mayor Kent Johns.
Other women who are expected to be elected include Carol Provan and Marcelle Elzerman (both Liberals, A Ward), Jennifer Armstrong (Labor, C Ward) and Diedree Steinwall (Labor, D Ward).
Several women are in contention in E Ward where only one sitting councillor Peter Scaysbrook is standing again.
They include Deborah Cansdell (Labor), Jill Deering (Liberal), Laura Cowell (Shire Sports Independents) and Georgia Steele (independent).
Nominations for the election open on October 25 and Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock is urging women keen to make a difference to consider standing.
"My advice to any woman considering a role with their local council is just to go for it," Mrs Hancock said.
"The participation of women in public life is essential for the development and advancement of women, and the time has come for women to close the gender-gap on local councils.
"As a former councillor, who proudly served 17 years on Shoalhaven City Council, I understand all too well the issues female councillors, and potential councillors face.
"It is my hope, we can begin to dismantle entrenched barriers, stereotypes and assumptions that impede women's ability to play a central role in public life.
"Councils are the level of government closest to the community and can make a huge difference to residents. We need women from all walks of life."
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