2020 program outline

This executive program places an emphasis on skills training, good governance, leadership and fostering strong bonds between participants.  It features guest presenters from across the political spectrum including politicians from all levels of government (both sitting and retired), public speaking professionals, campaign strategists, advisors, public policy experts, and 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. Participants are expected to attend a minimum of eight out of the ten sessions, which will be held both in North Melbourne and on campus at the University of Melbourne.

Program outcomes

In just four years, the program has created meaningful pathways to electoral success:

  • One program alumna has been elected to federal government (The Hon Katie Allen MP)
  • Three program alumni have been elected to state government (The Hon Bridget Vallence MP, The Hon Kat Theophanous MP, The Hon Juliana Addison MP)
  • Three program alumni have been elected to local government (including Cr Stephanie Amir, Cr Sarah Mansfield, Cr Susanne Newton)

The program continues to receive extremely positive feedback. Of the 2019 cohort:

  • 95% agreed or strongly agreed that they had the skills needed for political success at the end of the program, compared to 14% at commencement
  • 100% indicated a high or very high understanding of the election process by the end of the program, compared to 14% at commencement
  • 91% indicated that they anticipate running for office within the next 10 years

2019 participant testimonials

  • “Life changing. Thank you for giving me the confidence to do this and run”
  • “What a SENSATIONAL program - a gift, an honour to participate, flawless execution, intellectually stimulating, wonderfully organised, inspiring and life changing!”
  • “This program really has changed my life. I started off feeling so unworthy but now I feel confident, capable, valued and supported. This is a truly marvellous program. Thank you so much for making it happen”

It made such a difference to have incredible women from across the political spectrum encouraging and supporting me all the way with skills, development and knowledge. This program is crucial – more women in parliament better reflects our community’s values and experiences - Juliana Addison, 2017 alum and Member for Wendouree