From the outset, politics seems like a man's world.
But the south-west political sphere is made up, in part, by three decisive women; Liberal ministers Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell and Member for Western Victoria region Bev McArthur and Labor's Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney.
Despite all having differing views, the three women have all forged tough skin over their political careers in a bid to make Victoria's parliament more accessible for future women.
Ms Britnell assumed office in 2015 after a long history in community advocation.
"My decision was made after I was asked to stand," she said. "I had no career in politics in mind as all my life I wanted to be a nurse and I was committed to that, my family and life on the farm.
"Through advocation in the agricultural sector and my local indigenous community, I became very passionate about those topics and food security and health promotion.
"There was a lot of leadership investment put into me and I felt a strong sense of duty to step up to a state government level. I needed to give back."
Ms Britnell said gender politics hadn't been a part of her career. "I don't feel inferior because of my sex," she said. "Gender did not even enter my mind when I first ran as I'd been working in both male and female dominated work environments; I'd sat on some boards where I was the only woman and nursing is a female-dominated industry.
"What I haven't really experienced is a balanced-gender environment.
"I'm the type of person who's not afraid to ask questions or for help. When a woman stands up on a podium, she is often seen as aggressive whereas a man is seen as assertive. When labels like that are put on me, I think 'you don't know me, and if you did you'd know I'm assertive and confident'."
Ms Britnell acknowledged there were barriers for women entering politics and she's tried to make some sustainable pathways for her successors.
"One female colleague rang me and mentored me as my name was put forward," she said. "There are definitely barriers for women, I was asked how I would manage with a family and I said 'the way I always had, I've been a mother for 33 years and I don't let it stand in my way'.
"Not all women are like that and that's ok; they deserve the same respect as me.
"I started Formidable Women in the South West around six years ago because I was listening to a friend speak and I said to my other friend, 'if you didn't know her, you'd think she was scary' and my friend said 'same goes for you Roma'. I thought, women are capable, but sometimes we don't see it in ourselves."
On Thursday Ms Britnell paid tribute to a number of south-west women during a speech in parliament.
"I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge all the good work that women do in our society, be they mothers, be they sisters, be they daughters, be they grandmothers, caregivers, leaders, role models or mentors," she said.
"There are particular women, at the risk of naming a few and leaving some out, that have been great mentors in my life and committed enormously to our community-women such as Glenys Philpott, who was the mayor of Warrnambool and left a legacy of the boardwalk that many enjoy today, and I do often, and the protection of the penguins by maremma dogs on Penguin Island as depicted in the movie Oddball, which was during Glenys Philpott's time as mayor.
"Judy Troeth, a senator, has been a particularly great mentor to me, and Joy Howley from Caramut, who was president of the Liberal Party, was again another fantastic mentor. And on mentors from before my time in this place, as an industry representative and dairy farmer Shirley Harlock led the way as a United Dairyfarmers of Victoria representative, and I followed in her footsteps under her guidance. And before her was Anne Adams, who often sat on boards, as we all did, with very few other women."
Bev McArthur chose to enter state politics after raising her family and sitting on Corangamite Shire in a female-dominated council.
"My husband was in politics and in that time I made sure my children had my full attention," she said. "But I think I'm far more equipped for the job now compared to then because I have a great skillset.
"I don't believe there any more barriers to access politics than there are in business and academia.
"Merit is the most important criteria when it comes to politics and I want to see more people involved based on what the can contribute."
Mrs McArthur was elected in 2018 and said she was aware of the labels put on her in the past few years, but she doesn't let them wear her down.
"I've had all sorts of labels pinned on me and politics is a tough game. A lot of them are based on my age, I take the good with the bad and I love the fact I get to serve my community so I don't bother with labels.
"To have more women in politics, I think there needs to be a more positive spin on why it's important to get involved. We should encourage people from a young age to get involved as it's so important, it's what governs our lives."
Ms Tierney said her journey into politics was a seamless transition after advocating for various people and organisations since her early 20s.
She doesn't just believe there should be more women in politics, but more people of diverse backgrounds entering Parliament House.