MUNDARING Councillor Jason Russell has been awarded a highly contested $10,000 local government diploma scholarship.
The 20-year-old law student’s achievement marks the first time a local councillor has received the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) President’s award.
Cr Russell said he hoped to complete the Diploma of Local Government by the end of 2019.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity WALGA provided me,” he said.
“It represents a vote of confidence in young elected members’ ability to fully participate in all aspects of their role.”
Cr Russell said the diploma would help him acquire the skills and knowledge to perform his role to a consistently high standard.
Units in the course cover responsibilities including planning policy and developing community leadership.
The ongoing review of the Local Government Act 1995 highlighted the need for compulsory continuous training of councillors as an important part of reform.
“As a decision-making body, council relies on the information provided by Shire staff and on the abilities and understanding of councillors,” Cr Russell said.
“A well informed and well trained council makes better decisions, resulting in better outcomes for the community.”