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Changing Faces exhibition

Changing Faces: Reframing Women in Local Democracy celebrates the contribution women make to the municipality of Bayside and encourages women to get involved in local democracy.

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Funded by VicHealth under the Gender Equality and the Arts grants program, this powerful project celebrates 171 amazing local women who have been nominated by the community in recognition of their contribution and leadership.

Portraits of former Mayors that usually adorn Bayside City Council Chambers have been temporarily replaced with portraits of women who contribute to Bayside.

In Bayside City Council’s 161 year history, only 15 female mayors have been elected, and this project aims to highlight the historic under-representation of females on Council, both in the past and present.

Individual portrait of participants wearing fake moustaches and beards

Bayside City Council worked with renowned photographic artist Ponch Hawkes, whose works have been featured in the National Gallery of Australia.

Hawkes challenged the participants to wear fake moustaches and beards to humorously disrupt Bayside City Council’s gender narrative and highlight the stereotype of men being more capable leaders in politics and at work.

Mayor of Bayside City Council, Cr Clarke Martin, said: “This exhibition is provocative, controversial and will stimulate debate. I encourage these conversations because it shines a light on the historic inequity in our local democracy.

"Something needs to change. We have a wealth of talent in Bayside and we need to show women and girls that they can be decision and policy makers. Local government elections are coming up in October 2020 and I hope this exhibition can be a catalyst for gender equity in Bayside.”

Meet our participants

Interview with Ponch Hawkes and interviewer Tai Snaith from Council Chambers in Brighton. Ponch talks about the exhibition and other recent works. The talk also featured a live Q&A session for viewers.