Former Moyne Shire councillor Jill Parker believes the elevation of Karen Foster to the municipality's mayor will be an inspiration for more women to put their hand up for local government.
Mrs Parker will join Cr Foster as keynote speakers at a Women Leading Locally forum to be held in Mortlake today.
Cr Lauren Dempsey from Northern Grampians will complete the panel, which will discuss the virtues of women running for council.
Ms Parker, who hails from Mortlake, was a Moyne councillor for 12 years, from 2008-20.
She unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2019 and served for two years as deputy during her time on council.
"I was very pleased to see Karen has been given the opportunity to be the mayor," Mrs Parker said.
"She certainly has the credentials and it's great to see these have been recognised.
"Hopefully Karen being mayor sends a good message out to any women thinking of running for local council."
While Mrs Parker is keen to help encourage women to be part of the local government process, she is also supportive of a change to the system.
She believes ridings should be re-introduced to Moyne Shire.
Ridings were scraped leading into the 2008 elections, but Ms Parker believes bringing them back may increase the volume and diversity of people standing for council.
"The make-up of the council at the moment is very Port Fairy-centric, which is the way the system is set up," Mrs Parker said.
"The population is in the bigger towns and it's harder for people in rural ridings to get their profile up.
"I think if ridings returned we would see more candidates from those rural areas, which would hopefully include more women.
"You probably have to go back to Ros Stewart from Hawkesdale to find the last time Moyne had a female councillor who was from outside Port Fairy or Mortlake."
The Women Leading Locally event will be held on Wednesday from 12.30pm at Mac's Hotel in Mortlake.
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