Jennifer Wills

Jenny Wills has fought for change in local government and the community to make services more accessible for women.

Honour Roll

After joining Fitzroy City Council in 1973, Jenny's creative leadership influenced many initiatives undertaken by federal, state and local governments.

While with the council, she led the introduction of a community development/social planning approach to council's broad planning and decision making. This initiative resulted in the establishment of the Social Planning Office as a unique one-stop shop housing government, non government organisations and community agencies, together with council staff. These and other Fitzroy initiatives are explored in the 1985 publication, Local Government  and Community Services, Fitzroy - A Study in Social Planning,  co-authored and coordinated by Jenny.

From 1985 to 2000, Jenny was Social Policy Director for the Municipal Association of Victoria.  Since 1985 she has been actively championing women's representation in local government both locally and globally, through membership of the gender equity taskforce of the International Union of Local Authorities. Her major achievements from this time include the formation of the Women's Participation in Local Government Coalition and the development of the Victorian Local Government Women's Charter.

In her retirement, Jenny wrote the pocket guide Just, Vibrant & Sustainable Communities, A Framework for Progressing & Measuring Community Wellbeing. She is also a driving force behind the Just Communities Network, which comprises 15 councils across Australia seeking better ways to enhance local participatory democracy and community wellbeing.