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AS she steps out of public office to pursue a new-found passion, Cr Sue McMillan will urge women to stand for election when she appears on a TV show this weekend.
Cr McMillan told the Weekly last week she would be standing down as Dobson Ward councillor because she wanted to go back to university to study community development.
However, the former mayor hopes to leave a lasting legacy by encouraging women to stand for election in October when she shares her council experience on Channel 31 on Sunday.
The show was produced by the Victorian Local Governance Association to highlight the lack of women in public office.
Less than 30 per cent of Victorian councillors are women. In the 2008 council elections, there were no women candidates at all in more than 25 per cent of wards and unsubdivided municipalities.
The television show features Cr McMillan discussing the joys and perils of being a woman in local government, along with Cr Charlotte Baines (Monash) and Cr Beth Ripper (Wellington).
Cr McMillan said the three - who are interviewed by former ABC journalist Agnes Cusack - had a lot in common.
"We are all strong women in our values and our sense of community. But we also found that we all had to be very organised to manage our personal and council responsibilities."
Cr McMillan said women faced some unique challenges when deciding to nominate for council, particularly because they were often the "dominant carer" in the family.
"In a lot of situations, it still falls on the woman to organise dinner, cook and then be at council be 5pm - it's just those everyday logistical things."
She said the three agreed women did not value themselves enough - "we don't recognise just how capable we are, we put ourselves down".
But Cr McMillan said women should nominate for the October 27 council upcoming elections "as long as you have common sense and good values you can do it - the officers will help until you find your feet".
Another reason women weren't as well represented in local government was because some were not comfortable in a male-dominated environment, Cr McMillan said.
"Women can be nurturing in their council role - they bring a softer perspective. But they also have a lot of first hand experience with service delivery like at preschools."
The Think Women for Local Government special will air on Channel 31 this Sunday at 5.30pm and on Sunday, August 26 at 9pm.