A mentor is someone who is more experienced helping someone with less experience. Many women have more than one mentor in their lives. A campaign mentor could help with:

• understanding the political environment

• raising your profile

• meeting other people

• letting off steam and renewing

• boosting your confidence.

A critical friend is a trusted person who asks provocative questions, provides data to be examined through another lens, and offers critiques of a person’s work as a friend. A critical friend to a campaign takes the time to fully understand the context of the campaign and the outcomes that the candidate and the campaign is working toward. The friend is an advocate for the success of that campaign. A critical friend to a campaign is someone who

• speaks truthfully, but constructively

• asks the hard questions

• offers different perspectives and views

• challenges thinking about strategy in a positive way.

If funds permit you may decide to employ a professional coach for a time. There are a number of former women councillors and others who have pursued their post local government career in professional life coaching.

Like a campaign team, having mentors or a critical friend is a real advantage in a campaign. These can be people in your close circle or you may seek out someone you know of or have been referred to.

Find your own campaign mentors and critical friends (691 kb)

Mentoring through ALGWA (Australian Local Government Women’s Association Vic Branch)