At Baw Baw Shire Council, we are committed to seeing real change for women and gender diverse people. This will require innovative thinking and a willingness to learn and adapt along the way. There will be hurdles and stumbling blocks, however with open minds, education and learning from one another, Council will embed sustainable change within our organisation and community.
In 2021 Council conducted a robust audit of the lived experiences of our people, to better plan for an equitable and inclusive future. Happily, Baw Baw scored very well in comparison to the majority of other Victorian Local Governments, recognising, however that there is always room for improvement. In line with the Gender Equality Act (2020), the results informed the development of a Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) which includes analysis of key findings and actions to address gaps in the lived experiences of diverse demographic groups.
Council’s GEAP was approved by the Commission for Gender Equality in June 2022 and sits within Council's internal functions, overseen and delivered by Council’s employees. Our vision is for all employees to be treated equally, feeling safe and respected in their working environment, irrespective of individual gender identities. Council’s GEAP is a stepping-stone to promoting and improving equality and creating an understanding that builds empathy within our workplace.
In line with the Gender Equality Act (2020), Council is actively addressing equality and inclusion in the community by undertaking Gender Impact Assessments (GIAs) on relevant programs of work. A GIA gives an opportunity to consider our work through an equality lens, questioning assumptions and ensuring that our services are equally accessible to different diverse groups of people.
Council continues to promote the prevention of family violence, primarily through leading gender equity and building respectful and safe relationships and breaking down stereotypes. This is a prevention approach consistent with Council’s health and wellbeing planning.
Preventing violence against women and gender diverse people is everyone's responsibility, including all of us at Baw Baw Shire Council - from elected representatives and senior management to all Council employees.
As representatives and providers of key services and facilities, it is our duty to lead by example and to take up a crucial role in preventing violence against women and gender diverse people in our community.
Baw Baw Shire Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the Victorian Local Government Women's Charter, and to progressing Council’s efforts towards increasing women’s participation in the key decision-making forums across local governments of Victoria.
At the Wednesday, 24 August 2022 Council meeting, Council passed a motion to reaffirm its position as a signatory to the Charter and moved to appoint Central Ward Councillor Jazmin Tauru as a VLGA Women's Charter Champion alongside Council Officer Champion Dean Sutton, Council’s Manager Connected Communities.
As a signatory to the Charter, Council commits to the following principles:
That all genders have an equal right to be representatives in local governments, committees and decision-making positions.
The inclusion of different experiences and perspectives in local governments and community decision-making strengthens local democratic governance and helps build cohesive communities. Councils and communities encourage and welcome the participation of all genders.
Local governments will work with the community to increase the numbers and participation of women and gender diverse people in public life, so that decision-making more clearly represents and reflects the interests and demographics of communities.
For more information about gender equality and preventing all forms of violence against women and gender diverse people, visit:
For more information about gender equality, visit: