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Guide to Melbourne for women

Find empowering places and be inspired to make your mark.

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How do women make Melbourne a great place to be? Discover how women lead the way every day, and find ways to help shape the city.

We stand up for what matters. We seek out connection and inspire courage. We bring diverse views to work and play. We foster community. Design new ways to connect. Expand our creative horizons.

We run small businesses in the economic engine room of the city. We advocate, educate and steer on issues that will shape the city into the future. We push for sustainability and equality. Care for those who need it most. And so much more.

How will you make your mark? Keep reading for inspiration on:


Six women with diverse careers in the city

Whether it’s designing our city, helping parents settle their newborn babies, or managing the city’s waste and recycling collection, this International Women’s Day we celebrate that women can do it all at the City of Melbourne.

With roles spanning 50 different industries the diverse career opportunities are almost endless.

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A woman with funky black glasses smiling at the camera, she is wearing a pink and gold shirt.
Designing the city: Jocelyn Chiew

What to read for International Women’s Day

Read about brilliant sisters, the female body and how women work around the patriarchy in this curated reading list of fiction and non-fiction by womenOpens in new tab. You’ll even find local Melbourne gems in the mix.

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6 diferent book covers all featuring women for international womens day
Titles to add to your reading list

Womempower Book Club

Do you love books written by or about strong women? If you identify as a woman and are 15 to 25 years, we’d love to see you at our Womempower Book Club.

Email us with ‘Womempower’ in the subject line to join the club.

Ages: 15 to 25 years

Where: North Melbourne Library


Explore 10 places that honour women

Walk in the footsteps of the women who have shaped Melbourne by visiting 10 places that honour women and their contribution to this city.

Feel the presence of rock royalty in Amphlett Lane, browse the library named after a journalist and welfare worker, take a moment in the Women’s Peace Garden and more.

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A person walking past Amphlett Lane and Amphlett House in Melbourne
Amphlett Lane honours rock royalty Chrissy Amphlett

Progressive women who have paved the way for those to come

Get to know the trailblazing Melbourne women who have cut a path a first step so that others may follow.

Meet Australia’s first female university graduate, an early activist for Aboriginal women and a leader of Melbourne’s gay liberation movement in the 1970s.

Come up to speed on legendary suffragist Vida Goldstein and discover how a statue of this Victorian activist is the first in a series commissioned to narrow the gender imbalance in statues across the municipality. You can also connect with our team to make a pledge.

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A statue of Sir Douglas and Lady Nicholls
Parliament Gardens statue of Sir Douglas and Lady Nicholls

How women drive the economy

Get to know some of the brilliant business minds who take on advisory roles to guide the city and our economy.

Invest Melbourne Advisory Board

University executive, adviser to government and policy analyst Dr Julie Wells is acting chair of the Invest Melbourne Advisory Board.

This advisory group finds new ways to ensure Melbourne is seen as a key investment destination, and makes sure it is the easiest place to start and grow a business.

Business precincts

Across our business precincts, women inspiring the next wave of visitors to our distinctive economic hubs.

Three trader associations supported through City of Melbourne’s Business Precinct Program are led by women.

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A confident person standing in a city street
Melbourne Chinatown Business Association president Christina Zhao
  • Big ideas for Chinatown led Christine Zhao to stand as president of the new Melbourne Chinatown Business Association. She is keen to inspire the next wave of visitors to Chinatown looking for hidden bar culture and karaoke, along with dumplings and more traditional aspects of Chinese culture.
  • As a voice for the inner north and west, president Sylvia Hungria is amplifying the unique character of the neighbourhood and helping businesses to thrive through the North and West Melbourne Precinct Association.
  • In the City Precinct, new president Chloe Beevers has a long-standing connection with the CBD. This three-time business founderOpens in new tab was among a handful of people who lived in the CBD in the 1990s just as the Postcode 3000 initiative began to transform Melbourne into the city we know and love today.

Women lead the way to champion action on climate change

Climate change means Melbourne is experiencing more hot weather and heat wave events than ever before. In Melbourne, we currently average 11 days greater than 35 degrees and expect this to rise to 16 days by 2050.

Under the leadership of our co-Chief Heat Officers Krista Milne and Tiffany Crawford, Melbourne is the first city in Australasia to join the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre as a City Champion for Heat Action, and appoint Chief Heat Officers.

This summer our Co-CHOs and Team Melbourne have been helping our community prepare for extreme heat by providing more than 1000 cool kits, activating and promoting cool places to go, and trialling ways to adapt city infrastructure to cool the city. To find out more, visit Heatwaves.

We’re committed to reducing the threat of extreme urban heat for all, particularly vulnerable people. Our goal is that the city provides places of respite for residents, workers and visitors during extreme heat events.

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Four people standing outdoors on a rooftop. The sky is blue and there is some greenery in the background
Chief Heat Officers Krista Milne (far left) and Tiffany Crawford (far right) join Lord Mayor Sally Capp (middle right) and Kathy Baughman McLeod director of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre to look at ways to help keep Melburnians cool.

Speaking up for trans and gender diverse youth

Actress Georgie Stone OAM is a strong advocate for trans and gender diverse children and young people. She is also Young Melburnian of the Year in the City of Melbourne’s 2023 Melbourne Awards.

The first trans actor in a trans role on long-running television series Neighbours, Georgie has been globally recognised for her activism.

She was nominated for Best Daytime Soap Star at the Inside Soap Awards.

Georgie has also contributed to the series as a writer and has been invited to participate in other script developments for drama projects.


Fair access for women and girls in sport

We’re exploring ways to improve opportunities for women, girls and others to participate in community sport and recreation, so everyone has an equal chance to play.

We want to boost opportunities for women and girls in sport so we can all be at our best, with equal access to great facilities.

Check out some of the ways we’re empowering women and girls through community sport.

Did you have your say on Fair AccessOpens in new tab by providing feedback on our draft Fair Access Policy and draft Fair Access Action Plan by 28 March 2024? Stand by to find out what happens next.

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Four people posing joyfully in a locker room
Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Councillor Dr Olivia Ball with athletes Talea and Alice

Get fit with other women

Here are just some of the ways to get fit in the company of other women. Visit our recreation centres for more ideas and skills to learn.

Girls’ skateboarding lessons at Riverslide Skate Park

Learn to skate in a social and positive environment with girls’ skateboarding lessonsOpens in new tab. Have fun, try new things and make progress, improve your fitness, coordination and balance. You’ll build your confidence and resilience too.

Lessons are run by experienced skateboard coaches who will help you learn skateboarding stances, styles and terms. Skateboarding is super fun and exciting, and you’ll get to hang out with other girls and young women who love to skate.

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Young girl on a skateboard ramp skateboarding
Riverslide Skate Park

Women’s only swimming at Melbourne City Baths

City Swimm(h)er is a weekly women’s only swimming program designed for women and girls from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to enjoy the pool in a safe and inclusive environment.

Choose between unstructured swimming or register for an eight-week swimming lesson program designed to build skills and confidence in the water, and connect with other community members.

City Swimm(h)er aims to increase the participation of young Muslim women in pool-based exercise, recreation and water safety, by creating a welcoming, inclusive and culturally safe environment for the whole family.

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Melbourne City Baths pools
Melbourne City Baths

Shops where you can buy things made by women

In busy laneways and in studios across the city, entrepreneurial women are designing, making and sharing their wares with the world.

Here’s how Melbourne’s best shops for female makersOpens in new tab support the city’s female and gender diverse artists and designers.

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A shopkeeper under a neon sign reading: building our empire
Queen Victoria Women's Centre Shop

Supporting local women through grants

Get to know the amazing grassroots groups for inner-city women that received a funding boost from City of Melbourne this year.

Community Inclusion Grants 2024 include:

  • Inclusive Arts Program for Indian and South Asian Women: inclusive arts workshops to create performances centred around lived experience, with a focus on spoken word and stand-up.
  • Mamma Ball women-only basketball sessions to encourage women and non-binary individuals to play. Led by Deakin Melbourne Boomers WNBL players and coaches, sessions suit all skill levels. All welcome. Book now for Parkville sessions.
  • Come and try soccer games for women: Melbourne Social Soccer sessions for women from diverse backgrounds of all soccer skill levels. Boost physical and mental wellbeing, build meaningful connections, and enable an inclusive community.
  • Ubuntu Project Leadership Academy: personal growth and goal setting with girls and women of African heritage, as well as leadership in the community sector including Board opportunities.

Social Investment Partnerships 2023–25 include:

  • Bigger Sister Channel: economic empowerment for sex workers aims to economically empower sex workers, through the creation of a tailored financial literacy program.
  • Maternal child health justice partnership: free legal help to women and children at risk of family violence. Designed by Inner Melbourne Community Legal for socio-economically disadvantaged, excluded and multicultural women.
  • SisterWorks Inc. Mobile Hub provides practical workshops and classes to migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women, boosting economic self-sufficiency through education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
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Two people using sewing machines
Sisterworks

Support for women who are carers

Get support to transition to parenthood and beyond with our team of maternal and child health nurses.

We work in an integrated team alongside experts in family support and counselling, parenting and children’s services, and immunisations.

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Two women with a baby
Maternal and child health is our focus

This integrated team is made up mostly of women, and we’re here to support with parenting challenges such as sleep, behavioural and food issues.

We are here for women experiencing family violence, food insecurity, homelessness, legal issues, immigration issues, isolation, mental health issues and illness.

You can make an appointments at one of eight welcoming centres across the municipality, and or we can organise support via home visits, visits in cafes, schools or other spaces that women identify as safe.

Where to find our family services

  • Boyd Community Hub: 207 City Road Southbank
  • Carlton Learning Precinct: Palmerston and Rathdowne streets, Carlton
  • Community Hub at The Dock: 912 Collins Street, Docklands
  • Kensington Maternal and Child Health Centre: 81a Altona Street, Kensington
  • Lady Huntingfield Family Services Centre: 89-97 Haines Street, North Melbourne
  • North Melbourne Children’s Centre: 28 Howard Street, North Melbourne
  • North Melbourne Community Centre: 49 53 Buncle Street, North Melbourne
  • narrm ngarrgu Family Services: Level 3, 454 Queen St Melbourne

Support for carers

Did you know that carers are most commonly women?

More than 60 per cent of those who said they had caring responsibilities were female, according to an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey (2018).

Here’s where to find support for carers, including a monthly walking group and morning tea to share your experience and find others who understand where you’re coming from.


Library storytimes and children’s activities

If you’ve got little ones in your life, spend time at our local libraries to inspire a love of books and a lifetime of learning.

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A playgroup
narrm ngarrgu library near the Queen Victoria Market

Drop in for storytime or children’s activities and get to know your neighbours.

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A woman and child reading in a library
Children’s library at narrm ngarrgu

Want more creative inspiration for your family? Book a session at ArtPlay with children up to 13 years.

Where to find libraries in the City of Melbourne

  • East Melbourne Library: 122 George Street East Melbourne VIC 3002. Phone: 03 9658 9600
  • Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre: 251 Faraday Street, Carlton. Phone: 03 9658 7310
  • Library at The Dock: 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade Docklands. Phone: 03 9658 9998
  • narrm ngarrgu Library and Family Services: 141 Therry Street Melbourne (near Queen Victoria Market). Phone: 03 9322 3700
  • North Melbourne Library: 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne. Phone: 03 9658 9700
  • Southbank Library: 207 City Road, Southbank. Phone: 03 9658 8300
  • City Library: 253 Flinders Lane Melbourne (closed for renovations)
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Two people reading in a library
narrm ngarrgu library

Gender equality in the city

We are committed to gender equality for everyone in the City of Melbourne.

This means striving to make sure that regardless of their gender identity, everyone has access to equal resources and opportunities, and are treated with dignity, respect and fairness.


Preventing violence against women

Gender inequality creates the underlying conditions for violence against women.

Violence against women is not inevitable. We can all take action to prevent violence.

Our plan is to transform the deep underlying causes of violence against women so that violence against women doesn’t occur in the first place.

We also aim to disrupt the drivers of violence against women. This approach is known as primary prevention.

We are guided in our work by the Creating Communities of Equality and Respect action plan, developed with leaders, prevention experts, community and business leaders and more.


Enhancing safety at night for women and gender diverse people

Everyone has the right to enjoy the city after dark and feel safe, confident and welcome at night, including women and trans and gender diverse people.

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Light projections in an urban park
New Year’s Eve in the City of Melbourne

We encourage businesses that open after dark bars, nightclubs, restaurants and theatres sign up to our Night Safety Charter and commit to making the city safer for women, and trans and gender diverse people.

Businesses receive a free toolkit, developed with safety experts and local businesses, offering practical guidelines to improve safety and reporting practices. And go into the running to receive free Good Night Out trainingOpens in new tab with Full Stop Australia.

our acknowledgement

  • Torres Strait Islander Flag
  • Aboriginal People Flag

The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. 

 

We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.