Two red-headed, Western Bulldogs-supporting, female politicians were full of admiration for each other when they met this week.
Wangaratta councillor Ashlee Fitzpatrick said she was honoured to speak with former prime minister Julia Gillard, a woman she has long-considered a political idol.
Ms Gillard was in Melbourne to launch the latest report from the Julia Gillard Next Generation Intern program, which focused on cultural diversity.
The event attended by Cr Fitzpatrick was hosted by EMILY's List Australia, a group set up to support women in the Labor Party.
"One thing she said in her speech is that it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that, and she's proud of that," she said.
"I think it's really important that we do encourage woman to run for government - local, state or federal."
She also had the chance for a 15-minute sit down with Ms Gillard and admitted she was "starstruck".
They bonded over the Western Bulldogs, but Cr Fitzpatrick said the former prime minister was also very down-to-earth and was keen to hear about her journey as a councillor.
"It's inspiring that she keeps working every day to make this country a better place - and the world," she said.
"She likes to share her knowledge and pass on what she knows to pass others and I think that's really important. I could really relate to her on that level - youth, education and empowering women."
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The report stated more support was needed for Aboriginal and culturally diverse women if they are to be elected into politics.
"From my work at the Global Institute for Women's Leadership, I know the evidence shows diverse teams perform better," Ms Gillard said in a statement. "That means there is much to be gained if our parliaments are truly representative of our communities."
Cr Fitzpatrick was back in Wangaratta last night for the September council meeting.
Councillors voted to adopt the Community Access and Inclusion Plan, which will guide the council in its decision making and infrastructure when considering people of all abilities living in the municipality.
"We do care about and support diversity so it's a really important plan," Cr Fitzpatrick said.