Pathways to Politics for Women

The University of Adelaide Pathways to Politics 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.

An initiative of the Trawalla Foundation, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, and the University of Melbourne, Pathways to Politics for Women is a part of a national Pathways to Politics partnership that seeks to address the underrepresentation of women in Australian politics. 

Pathways to Politics for Women is increasing the number of women in Australian politics by equipping diverse women to boldly embrace their political ambitions, thrive as leaders and make a profound contribution to society.

In the last eight years Pathways to Politics has helped hundreds of women to run for office, and achieved 33* electoral successes nationally across the political spectrum and at all levels of government.

Through comprehensive practical training, workshops, mentoring and career-long support, Pathways to Politics provides unparalleled expertise for women who are serious about driving change through political leadership. The proudly non-partisan programs are uniquely designed in collaboration with eight leading universities across Australia, tailored to each local context. Participants gain first-hand insights from prominent politicians, advisors, speechwriters and media trainers to give them confidence and clarity about their future in politics in a safe, supportive environment.

Programs are open to women across Australia. Program participation is fully funded through the generous support of philanthropic and university partners.

Participate in Pathways to Politics for Women and experience the following benefits:

  • Learn from Australia’s most comprehensive and award-winning program which is accessible, diverse and fully funded
  • Become the politician you want to be in a safe, inclusive space
  • Help shape Australia’s political landscape

Pathways to Politics for Women comprises host universities including the University of Adelaide. It is offered free to selected participants.

Note: Pathways to Politics embraces an inclusive definition of ‘women’, acknowledging the diversity of women we work with and aim to support, including cisgender and transgender women, and non- binary people.

“Pathways to Politics doesn’t just bewail the undersupply of women in public office: it takes practical steps to address the problem, equipping women with the skills and confidence to get involved….It’s an invaluable down-payment on a better kind of politics.“Annabel Crabb

Pathways to Politics for Women details 

  • About Pathways to Politics for Women

    Pathways to Politics for Women has a practical, experiential format that supports your active participation through workshops, case studies, networking opportunities, panel discussions and Q&As with high-profile guest presenters from across the political spectrum, including politicians, journalists, analysts, advisors and strategists.

    Modules cover topics such as political vision, campaign planning, media training, speech-writing and leadership skills.

  • How does Pathways to Politics for Women run?

    Pathways to Politics for Women at the University of Adelaide consists of ten sessions from August to October:

    • three full days face-to-face
    • seven online sessions after hours 
  • Diversity and inclusion

    We are committed to diversity and to supporting a strong and inclusive cohort culture to equip you with the skills, knowledge, confidence and networks to run for elected office. You will become part of a large, supportive network of diverse and highly motivated women from a range of political, professional, and cultural backgrounds, all dedicated to making a tangible difference to the political landscape.

  • Who can apply?

    Pathways to Politics for Women at the University of Adelaide is open to female-identifying and non-binary people who are residents of South Australia.


Hear from past participants


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Our partners

Pathways to Politics is a truly national program, providing women from all corners of Australia and all walks of life the opportunity to engage in political leadership and contribute to the future of the nation.

Founding partners

University partners