Ballarat snack food business owner and volunteer group founder Ellen Burns says running for council is a natural next step after years of widespread work in the community.
It is the first time Ms Burns, who grew up in Warrenheip and currently lives in Brown Hill, has stood for council.
"I am really excited at the prospect of representing our community," she said.
Ms Burns launched snack food business We Bar None five years ago and is also the co-founder and president of The Hidden Orchard, a volunteer group that harvests fruit and distributes it to community through charities. She said running for council was the next step after increasing her involvement in council community engagement and consultation in past years.
Ms Burns said she had been involved in drafting strategies including the Ballarat Food Strategy and the Brown Hill Local Area Plan.
I found I really enjoyed being involved in the community and involved in shaping the future of the community and wanted more.Ellen Burns
"I found I really enjoyed being involved in the community and involved in shaping the future of the community and wanted more," she said.
Ms Burns is standing as a Greens endorsed candidate for North Ward. She said her three priorities if elected as a councillor were the local economy, climate action and community.
"People are experiencing a lot of job insecurity at the moment and high unemployment rates and there is a lot we can do to support local businesses and people who need jobs," Ms Burns said.
"I am looking forward to getting stuck into the Carbon Neutrality and 100 per cent Renewables Action Plan which has been passed and put in the recent budget.
"I really want to see that completed as soon as possible."
Ms Burns said her focus on community encompassed many outcomes she wanted to achieve on council, including ensuring new developments in North Ward prioritised people over profit.
"Development in North Ward is a really big issue, so I want to make sure new developments are community focused," she said.
Ms Burns said she would like to improve support to community groups by facilitating connections and providing them with training and resources.