Being an elected Councillor requires an ongoing time commitment coupled with an understanding of good governance and the ability to respond to community feedback. Victorian council elections will be held at the end of October in all local councils with the exception of Brimbank City Council.
The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) provides introductory sessions for prospective council candidates to assist in understanding the role and responsibilities of local government. The sessions include an overview from a neighbouring Council Chief Executive Officer and Councillor to discuss the role of council officers and elected representatives.
This evening I was invited to speak at the information session held at Knox City Council to provide an overview of my experiences in local government and advice on conducting council campaigns. The session provided an opportunity for candidates to discuss the operations of a Council and the role that Councillors undertake within the community. In particular I was able to provide an overview of governance structures for Council to assist candidates in understanding how Councillors can deliver results for the community.
I attended a similar information session in 2005 when I first stood for local government in Maroondah and found that the discussion was useful in gaining an insight into councils. Candidates should be advised to learn about local government and its decision making processes to ensure that they can become effective representatives for their community.