EARLY years services will be the priority of Bendigo's newest elected representative, who has been formally declared as the successful candidate in the countback of the City of Greater Bendigo's Eppalock Ward.
The Victorian Electoral Commission officially announced Susie Hawke as councillor-elect via a phone link to council offices on Friday afternoon.
Mrs Hawke won the most preferences in a countback on Tuesday, after the resignation of former councillor Yvonne Wrigglesworth in September.
The councillor-elect said her main priority was to raise the profile of early childhood support and education within council, and within the community.
"We can enact a whole lot of change if we can put services, support for children and young families at that age, from that nought to eight," Mrs Hawke said.
"That would be my number one priority."
Mrs Hawke said sport, recreation and healthy living were other passions of hers. She said she could also see herself advocating for people with a disability, having worked as a speech pathologist in the disability sector.
She said she needed to get up to speed on the council's current position in terms of early years before advocating for specific services or programs.
Mrs Hawke said in 2016 her decision to run came down to ensuring gender equity and a diversity of views of council. The councillor-elect said on Friday that she stood after seeing turmoil on council, thinking it would be good to have new people.
She said it was great to more women had been council during the current term.
Mrs Hawke said she needed to be briefed more on existing council policy before deciding whether to advocate for gender equity.
"It really comes back to the early years, and thinking about, 'What are we actually teaching our children? What are we modelling for our children?'," Mrs Hawke said.
"'What behaviours are they seeing from us as adults?' Around those gender equity issues, among a whole range of other issues. Because that's where we can impact the most change."
Mrs Hawke lives with her husband and three children in Kennington. She will be sworn in to the council on Monday. Her first council meeting will be on Wednesday.
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