Pathways to Politics Program for Women

In Australia, less than one-third of all parliamentarians and one-fifth of all ministers are women. The Pathways to Politics Program for Women will address this under-representation by providing hands-on training and networking opportunities for women who aspire to elected office.

The Pathways to Politics Program for Women is a non-partisan initiative borne out of a partnership between the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, Trawalla Foundation and Melbourne School of Government. It provides a select group of female University of Melbourne students and alumni, the opportunity to gain the skills and networks to reach elected office at local, state and national levels.

Modelled on the Harvard Kennedy School program, ‘From Harvard Square to the Oval Office’, it aims to redress the lack of representation of women in Australian politics.


The program features guest presenters from across the political spectrum including politicians (both sitting and retired), pollsters, public speaking professionals, campaign strategists, advisors, public policy experts, and leading figures in Australian political and public life.

Each session is structured around hands-on training and mentorship, including conversation sessions with women elected to office from across local, state and federal government.This executive program provides hard skills training coupled with an emphasis on good governance, leadership and fostering strong bonds between fellows.

I am delighted that the impact of the From Harvard Square to the Oval Office program is expanding to reach Australian women through the Pathways to Politics Program at The University of Melbourne. Gender gaps in politics exist in nearly every nation on earth, and equipping women students with the skills, knowledge, and networks to succeed in the political arena will bring more equal representation to all.

Victoria A. Budson, Executive Director Women and Public Policy Program Harvard Kennedy School

To find out more about this amazing opportunity, visit the University of Melbourne website.

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