Forum today for council women

BEING a woman in local government can be tough.

Just ask Sharon Cadwallader, a Ballina Shire councillor and executive member of the NSW Branch of the Australian Local Government Women's Association.

She's not the only woman on Ballina Shire Council.

Also in the chamber are Sue Meehan and Robyn Hordern.

On the Northern Rivers, two councils have women mayors - Jenny Dowell in Lismore and Jan Barham in Byron.

Other women councillors include Vanessa Ekins (Lismore), Diane Woods (Byron), Janet Wilson (Kyogle), Lynette Zito (Kyogle), Shirley Wheatley (Richmond Valley), Barbara Jeffery (Richmond Valley) and Donella Kinnish (Richmond Valley).

But Cr Cadwallader said she would like to see even more women take up positions as local councillors.

"One of the biggest problems facing female councillors is that they go into it very unprepared," she said.

"That's where ALGWA can help.

"And while politics is a demanding career, the level of difficulty is matched by the reward.

"Local government is the closest to the community, and therefore it is important to reflect the communities they we serve.

"Having diversity is at the core of better, more relevant and quality decision making.

"At the end of the day I enjoy having a say in the future of the shire and am passionate about the shire's future," she said.

"It is where my children and grandchildren are growing up."

The Australian Local Government Women's Association is today holding a Women in Local Government Forum in Ballina.

Starting at 4.30pm and finishing at 6.30pm, the forum will be held at the council chambers and will cover topics such as responsibilities, services and functions.

To register for this afternoon's Women in Local Government Forum in Ballina, contact Sandra Bailey on 6686 1273 or email sandrab@ballina.nsw.gov.au.



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