The UNSW Pathways to Politics Program for Women is a proudly non-partisan initiative that aims to change the face of politics by equipping women with the skills, knowledge, confidence and networks they need to run for elected office and thrive as political leaders.

The Australian Human Rights Institute supports the program, which is hosted by the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Law & Justice.

Pathways to Politics brings together significant expertise and experience from across Australia’s political spectrum to provide participants with networking opportunities and practical training that emphasises good governance, ethics and leadership. The program supports a strong and inclusive cohort culture.

2021 participants


The participants of the inaugural UNSW Pathways to Politics Program for Women were celebrated at a reception at NSW Parliament House in February 2022.

Where has the program taken the 2021 participants? 

  • 29 women completed the program, including women from across the political spectrum and from across NSW.
  • Eight women ran for local government in the 2021 NSW elections and four were elected (Moo D'Ath – Shoalhaven City Council, Emelda Davis – City of Sydney, Melanie McDonnell – Orange City Council, and Louise Sullivan – Sutherland Shire Council)
  • Two women ran in the 2022 federal election (Sally Sitou – Reid and Georgia Steele – Hughes). Sally Sitou was elected to federal Parliament.

In 2022, the UNSW program ran from 22 July-22 September.

National network

The Pathway to Politics Program is an initiative of the Trawalla Foundation, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and University of Melbourne and is delivered in partnership with state and territory-based university partners University of Melbourne, QUT, UNSW and Charles Darwin University..

Further information is available here