People and Places
02/09/2020
Council elections cultivate diversity

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Looks like this ‘diversity’ thing is catching on. Mornington Peninsula Magazine already knows there’s a varied bunch of punters enjoying the south-of-the-city lifestyle. The proof’s in the pages of our monthly magazine, which supports and exemplifies the diverse group of region-loving locals who make our neck of the woods such a great place to be. 

Our magazine thrives on giving readers difference, and that’s just what Mornington Peninsula Shire and Frankston City Council are looking for in their councillors as they gear up for the October 24 elections. 

Frankston City Mayor Sandra Mayer explains: “Our local communities are diverse, and it is important that the councillors who will be representing these communities know them, are part of them and are therefore able to speak on their behalf. Frankston City comprises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, a growing LGBTQI population and many from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. True representation only exists when there is diversity amongst leaders, so I strongly encourage anyone, young or old, who is thinking of running for council to throw their hat in the ring.” 

We agree. It’s certainly time to have representatives from diverse groups in positions where they can advocate for real change. After all, we live in a rich melting pot of multicultural and multi-talented people, so why not represent them?

Cr Mayer continues: “A diverse council leads to more equitable, community-focused outcomes and policies, programs and initiatives that truly reflect the needs of all residents. One of my personal passions has been encouraging more women to run for local government, which is why I have supported the Tap Her on the Shoulder campaign, which has the goal of achieving 50 per cent female representation by 2024.” 

Mornington Peninsula Shire is on the same page: “Having a culturally diverse council is essential to meet the community’s needs in an inclusive way. If you are passionate about what happens in your local area, becoming a councillor is an exciting opportunity to make a positive difference and to represent the interests of your community.”

There have been mixed feelings about holding the elections because of the pandemic, but as Cr Mayer says: “If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that there are different ways of doing things.” 

Most candidates will now be promoting their candidacy solely on social media, and the voting will be conducted entirely by post. Nominations open on Thursday, September 17, and close at noon on Tuesday, September 22. Go to the respective council websites to find out more. Will you put your hand up for diversity?

LIZ ROGERS

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