Gardiner Ward Councillor at the City of Boroondara, Councillor Coral Ross, has been awarded the prestigious Churchill Fellowship to look into improving gender equality in local councils.

Cr Ross will travel to USA, Canada, UK, Sweden, and Germany in 2019 to gain new knowledge and insights on best practice to increasing the number of elected women in local government.

“It is a huge honour and privilege to be one of the 112 recipients of the prestigious Churchill Fellowship,” Cr Ross said.

“There is an ongoing under-representation of women in local government as councillors. In Australia, only 32.8 per cent of councillors are women, which is considerably less than the percentage of women making up our communities. I believe we need to do more to see women participate equally in local government, as councils which do not reflect their communities cannot serve their communities.

“I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge and sharing insights with my overseas counterparts and to bringing best overseas practice back to Australia to improve gender equality in our local government.”

Mayor of Boroondara, Cr Jim Parke, congratulated Cr Ross on her achievement.

“Cr Ross is a strong advocate for gender equity and has been a trailblazer on the issue within the local government sector. This fellowship is a remarkable opportunity to contribute to the enrichment of our society,” Cr Parke said.

Cr Coral Ross has been a City of Boroondara councillor for 16 years and is the National President of Australian Local Government Women’s Association.