What is the Pathways to Politics Program for Women?
The Pathways to Politics Program for Women is a non-partisan initiative born out of a partnership between the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, Trawalla Foundation and Melbourne School of Government.
It provides a select group of female University of Melbourne students and alumni, the opportunity to gain the skills and networks to reach elected office at local, state and national levels.
Modelled on the Harvard Kennedy School program, ‘From Harvard Square to the Oval Office’, it aims to redress the lack of representation of women in Australian politics.
The program is led by presenters from across the political spectrum including politicians (both sitting and retired), pollsters, public speaking professionals, campaign strategists, advisors, consultants and public policy experts as well as leading figures in Australian political and public life.
The structure of each session varies, including panel discussions, workshops, seminars, Q&A discussions, practical work and networking opportunities.
Am I eligible to apply for this Program?
The Program will accept up to 25 participants. Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens, an Australian permanent resident, or the holder of a permanent Humanitarian Visa, and have completed an:
- undergraduate degree at any university, and are currently enrolled in a masters or doctoral degree at the University of Melbourne; OR
- an undergraduate and/or honours, masters or doctoral degree at the University of Melbourne.
How many participants will there be?
Each year, the Program accepts up to 25 participants.
How are participants selected?
Participants will be selected on a competitive basis.
The selection criteria are as follows:
- Commitment to seeking elected office
- Leadership experience
- Professional and life experience
- Political engagement
- Ability to tell your story in a compelling way.
All applications will be reviewed by a shortlisting panel made up of representatives from Melbourne School of Government, The University of Melbourne and Trawalla Foundation. The Program emphasises multi-partisanship and seeks a cohort of women with diverse life and professional experiences.
Candidates will be judged on their written application and video pitch. The selection panel will also take diversity and equity into consideration.
When will I know if my application was successful?
All applications will be notified of the outcome of their application after the selection panel meets in May 2019.
What if I am not an alumna or graduate student of the University of Melbourne?
The Pathways to Politics Program for Women Advisory Committee is currently working on extending the scope of this program to potentially allow for women who are not alumnae nor students of the University of Melbourne to participate. We hope to be able to offer this wonderful opportunity to more talented women. If you are not eligible to apply for this year’s Program but wish to participate in future years, please subscribe to our mailing list here.
How long does the Program run for? How many sessions will there be?
The 2019 Program is outlined here. There are ten sessions in the Program with breaks to account for school holidays.
Do I have to attend every session of the Program?
Selected participants are expected to attend at least seven out of ten of the sessions. Participants who are not able to commit to at least seven sessions may be asked to withdraw from the Program.
How much does the Program cost?
The Program is FREE for the selected participants. The Program is generously funded by the Trawalla Foundation and is hosted by Melbourne School of Government. Participants must attend the program in person. Any flights, ground transfers, accommodation, and other fees associated with attending the program are not included in the costs covered by the Program. Meals will be provided during each session (gluten-free and vegetarian options provided on request).