Workplace gender audits will take place across North East Councils under the Gender Equality Act 2020.
The Act has now come into effect and requires councils to create strategies for achieving workplace gender equality, publicly report on their progress and ensure equality is promoted in policies that impact the public.
Women's Health Goulburn North East is working with councils as they look at the requirements of the act.
Chief executive Amanda Kelly said the Gender Equality Commission was guiding the Act's implementation and adherence.
"The Gender Equality Act is a legal obligation for over 300 defined entities across Victoria, and the 79 local governments right across the state are obliged to take steps to improve gender equality within their organisations," she said.
"It is a really significant commitment from the Victorian government to understanding gender equality and to improving it.
"The way that the Act fits in is, we know that one of the drivers of violence against women is gender inequality."
Ms Kelly said local government was "often underestimated as to the impact they have in the community".
"They can make significant changes in their local areas and we've got some fantastic councils across our region that are really taking this up and working towards the changes that are needed in council," she said.
"They need to do what's called gender impact assessments - they will be wanting to look at how their outward-facing policies, really looking at for example the health and well-being plans - are those things considering gender?"
Ms Kelly said the Act required certain actions but she encouraged councils to have big aspirations.
"Equal numbers of male and female councillors would be excellent, and inclusion of non-binary people," she said.
"Gender equality is equality for everyone no matter what their gender is.
"More women and gender-diverse people in management roles in council would be great.
"We'd also want to look at things like internal policies around parental leave, for example."
At last year's elections, a record number of women were nominated as candidates across Victoria, but there has was no increase in the North East from around 32 per cent.
WHGNE will be working closely with bushfire-affected councils in coming months after $75,000 in funding was announced on Friday for the service to work with councils in furthering economic recovery and the prevention of violence.
"Right across Victoria, we've seen an increase in the incidence of reported family violence, and unfortunately, in rural and regional areas, those numbers are higher," she said.
"This initiative shows the government has seen there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
"It's really welcome we can work together with the councils."
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Ms Kelly added that it was important councils were funded to do such work.
"Certainly, all of us have limits on our funding and councils have a lot of pressure put on them," she said.
"There's a lot of changes more recently with Acts; they're being asked to put a lot of resources into things ... but there's not necessarily funding attached to that, so this is really welcome."