2024 ‘Women in Local Government’ Category Winner

Shire of Chittering, WA

Mentoring, Training and Development Program

2024 ‘Women in Local Government’ Category Winner

The Initiative

The Mentoring, Training and Development Program aims to improve progression, mentoring, accessibility, and career development for women at the Shire of Chittering.

Shire of Chittering CEO, Melinda Prinsloo, has demonstrated exceptional leadership by implementing initiatives that actively support and empower women to advance in their careers. One notable initiative is the employment of four female trainees across various roles in administration, tourism, and roads maintenance. Through this program, these trainees have been provided with valuable opportunities for professional development and growth. Most of them have already completed their first TAFE qualification and are progressing towards the next level, including attaining the relevant tickets and licences to operate construction plant and equipment, all thanks to the support provided by Melinda and her staff.

In addition to the trainee program, the Shire has appointed two young women as practitioners in planning, and public health services, partnering them with more senior young women with leadership potential to learn from. This has the added benefits of honing these young leaders’ mentoring skills and preparing them for future senior management roles. The appointments include comprehensive career development plans that enable the women to progress, through the attainment of several milestones. By providing clear pathways for advancement and investing in their professional development, the Shire is empowering these women to reach their full potential and excel in their respective fields.

Furthermore, Melinda has created a supportive and flexible work environment that accommodates the needs of working mothers within the Shire. Recognising the importance of work–life balance, she has granted the freedom for mums to work from home when children are ill, or to work reduced or alternate hours to accommodate school pick–ups and drop–offs. This flexibility not only supports the well–being of employees, but also ensures that talented women can continue to develop their careers while fulfilling their caregiving responsibilities.
In summary, the Shire has implemented initiatives in the workplace that have significantly improved the progression, development, leadership and representation of women throughout the Shire of Chittering.

About the Category

The 'Women in Local Government' category recognises initiatives and female leaders in local government that:

  • support local women to stand for elected roles to represent their communities;
  • help to improve the progress and representation of women in leadership positions;
  • establish programs to support and recognise women as current and emerging leaders, including mentoring, networking and training opportunities; and/or
  • showcase an outstanding female leader who is making a positive difference to their local government and community.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • promoting greater roles for women in leadership, both as elected representatives and officers;
  • developing gender equality strategies and programs to support women of all ages to participate and become leaders in their workplace and community; and/or
  • advocating for gender equality, women’s rights and representation in the workplace.

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