"Changing the face of politics"
Pathways to Politics for Women
Pathways to Politics for Women at the University of Western Australia
Pathways to Politics for Women is increasing the number of women in Australian politics by equipping diverse women to boldly embrace their political ambitions, thrive as leaders and make a profound contribution to society.
Through comprehensive practical training, workshops, mentoring and career-long support, we provide unparalleled expertise for women who are serious about driving change through political leadership.
The program at the University of Western Australia will be run through the Centre for Public Value UWA and the UWA Public Policy Institute.
"I continue to be impressed by the grounding that participants receive through Pathways to Politics about the nature of political life, its opportunities, and challenges. Having worked with several participants who were subsequently elected to the Victorian parliament, I can attest to the ground-breaking nature of the program and how it is helping to change the face of politics."
Samantha Ratnam MP, Leader of the Victorian Greens
"Pathways to Politics doesn't just bewail the undersupply of women in public office: it takes practical steps to address the problem, equipping women with the skills and confidence to get involved ... It's invaluable down payment on a better kind of politics."
Annabel Crabb, journalist and television presenter
"A fabulous and vitally important program providing women from a variety of backgrounds with the tools and the confidence to have a go and get elected. The program is candid about how challenging it is being in politics and how women, regardless of political persuasion, experience common challenges, but can work together to break down these barriers."
Bridget Vallence, Member for Evelyn and program alum
“Pathways to Politics equipped me with the knowledge, skills, networks and confidence to run for office. I had the privilege to connect and learn from a diverse group of experts, politicians, and most importantly, the cohort of passionate women dedicated to making positive change for their community.”Skye Tito, NSW Labour Candidate for Sydney
Inspired by the Harvard Kennedy School's "From Harvard Square to Oval Office" practicum, Pathways to Politics was initiated through the vision of Carol Schwartz AO, Chair of the Trawalla Foundation, who fundamentally believes in the value of more female leaders. For Carol, this is about optimising outcomes for our country by ensuring that men and women together share power, leadership and decision-making.
The foundational Pathways to Politics program launched at the University of Melbourne in 2016, followed by programs at QUT in 2019, UNSW in 2021, Charles Darwin University in 2022, the University of Adelaide and University of Canberra in 2023, and the University of Western Australia and University of Tasmania in 2024.
This network is led by the National Co-Convenors Sarah Buckley, CEO of the Trawalla Foundation, and Dr Meredith Martin, Director of the University of Melbourne's Pathways to Politics program. Each state/territory program also received strategic support and guidance from a local steering or advisory committee, drawing on the expertise of senior university representatives, politicians and Pathways alums.
Since 2016, Pathways to Politics has helped more than 100 alums run for pre-selection and election. 33 electoral successes have been achieved nationally across the political spectrum and at all levels of government.
There are 450 alums nationally, with a projected 1000 alums by 2026.