President and Mayor's Welcome

Cr Kylie Spears


The Australian Local Government Women’s Association Victorian Branch is excited to have Yarra City Council host our 2021 Annual State Conference.

We have a fantastic line-up of speakers to look forward to, with more to be unveiled over the coming weeks.

This year, our theme is “culture, conduct and retention: The next 100 years of women in local government”.

This could not be more appropriate for us all, as we build the foundations of our next four years – and indeed the next hundred – in local government.

Culture is so important in any workplace, and starts with us all as individuals. It’s with culture that we set the tone for our next four years together.

Conduct provides a basis for positive culture, and we can’t underestimate how important this is in today’s environment. In light of the Gender Equality Act, respectful relationships are a significant part of conduct.

And finally, retention. Positive conduct and culture provide the strong foundations that lead to retention. Retention is vital in achieving a 50-50 gender balance by 2025.

We look forward to an action-packed few days as we unpack this theme, and help each other plan for the coming years.

We cannot wait to see you all face to face, especially after a long year of video calls and working from home. For newly appointed councillors, it’s been a challenging six months of getting up to speed on the role and responsibilities of council.

Nothing beats face to face, does it? If our online forums are any indication – wow! – we anticipate an amazing vibe.

We don’t want you to miss out. Early bird registrations are open until 8 April, and places are limited. So get in quick!

See you there.

Kylie (Councillor Kylie Spears, President ALGWA Vic. and Mayor of Maroondah City Council).

Cr Gabrielle de Vietri

It’s our great honour to host the ALWGA conference in the City of Yarra this year. I hope you all feel very welcome.

Yarra has a proud history of elevating women in leadership. In 1920, Mary Rogers was elected to City of Richmond Council as the first female elected to any tier of Government in Victoria.

This is a legacy that continues through to today. I am joined by five other diverse women representing Yarra as Councillors. It’s rare to see this type of majority representation in Australian governments, and it’s something we’re very proud of.

As a city, we are committed to equality and empowerment for people of all genders, cultures, and abilities. Forums like this help us have brave conversations about the important role of women – and indeed diversity – in local government and politics. May we continue to support and elevate women in all areas of life.

Cr Gabrielle de Vietri
Mayor of Yarra