NAIDOC Councillor workshop aims to address gap in local Politics

Dubbo Regional Council is hosting a NAIDOC Local Government Candidate Training workshop for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People on Saturday 3 July 2021.

In March 2020, the ABC News reported that at the last round of local government elections, the typical local government candidate was an English speaking male aged 60-69 years and that no mayors in NSW have identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander since 2012.

Dubbo Region Mayor Stephen Lawrence said it was time things changed. “Local government is the grassroots level of government and we need Aboriginal people to participate and be represented,” Mr Lawrence said.

“Key to this is addressing a “gap” that rarely gets talked about; that’s the electoral enrolment gap. It’s not that well known but there’s a substantial difference in the rate at which Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people are enrolled to vote. Dubbo Regional Council has resolved to try and close that gap,” Mr Lawrence said.

Despite Aboriginal people making up 14 per cent of Dubbo’s population, there were no Aboriginal people elected to the city’s regional council last term. Nationally, Indigenous people make up 3.3 per cent of the population.

“We have resolved to reach out to and encourage Aboriginal people who might be interested in standing for council. Quite simply, we need a diverse range of candidates in order to elect a strong council. Key to that is Aboriginal candidates who can bring their unique community perspective,” he said.

Delivered by Indigenous business, Politics in Colour, the workshop includes seven interactive sessions over one day, covering topics like the Local Government political system, candidate eligibility, governance and risk management, building community support, running for local office and much more.

“This workshop is the first step in our Aboriginal electoral engagement and enrolment strategy and I hope it provides useful information for potential candidates,” Mr Lawrence concluded.

Day: Saturday

Date: 3 July, 2021

Venue: Dubbo Regional Council, Cnr Church St & Darling St, Dubbo NSW 2830

Lunch: Sandwiches and refreshments provided

Time: 10:00AM – 4:00PM AEST

Cost: Free

Register here:

Guest Speakers:

* Dubbo Region Mayor Stephen Lawrence

* Aboriginal Councillor Dominic Wy Kanak of Waverley Council

* Elisabeth Perham of Pathways to Politics for Women (NSW)

/Public Release. View in full here.