Ruth McGowan OAM has more than 25 years experience managing teams and projects for both State and local governments and is a former Victorian Mayor and Councillor. She is a fearless advocate for more women in local government – both as elected representatives and as leaders – and is known throughout the sector as an expert on gender equity. In 2018, Ruth developed ‘The Best Practice Guide for Gender Equity in Local Government’ for the Victorian government, a guide to improve the representation of women in senior roles in councils. Ruth wrote Australia’s first campaign guide ‘Get Elected,’ aimed at encouraging more women to stand for politics. Ruth is a sought after facilitator, trainer and engaging speaker. She is a licenced trainer with the international Academy of Political Intelligence and coaches and trains senior managers to build their Political Savvy; a critical competency for leaders in the public sector. As a longstanding volunteer and courageous leader, Ruth has been honoured with an Order of Australia Medal and a National Emergency Medal.