NATIONALS Senator Bridget McKenzie spoke about women and politics at the M.A.D.E By Women: How Women Do-Mocracy event in Ballarat at the weekend.
Ms McKenzie was one of 20 women selected to speak at The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka as part of the event.
She participated in a Women in Politics panel discussion between local, state and federal government representatives.
The event was designed to inspire conversations about democracy and highlight the role of women in building our nation.
Ms McKenzie told the Bendigo Advertiser late last week that she would speak about the contributions of women in politics.
“We’re all on a panel talking about women in politics but more broadly how we do politics, if it is different to men, etcetera,” she said.
“From my perspective, I think as a National, someone that’s focused on regional areas, we do politics at a grass roots level and I don’t just mean my party, I mean everyone in regional Australia.
“We do politics at a very local level and all our institutions are incredibly democratic.
“So if you look at your CWA, your fire station, your kinder committee, it’s very democratic and very usually quite respectful of different views.
“Because, for instance, you might have a sub committee to discuss where the local fire station is going to be sighted and there will be a lot of different views in a small community about where the best place might be.
“But at the end of the day you have the debate within the meeting and then we tend to get on with life because the next day you could be fighting the fire together.”
Ms McKenzie said the way democracy was practiced in rural areas was different to in the city.
“Whether that’s a gender thing I’m not sure. I think it’s about getting the best person to represent your community,” she said.
“And if you look at regional Victoria for instance, and Bendigo in particular, women and men represent this space.
“I think that says more about the calibre of the people than it does agenda.”