Attention to detail and working as part of a team: that's where aspiring councillor Kumuda Simpson feels her strengths lie as she makes a first-time bid for office.
A former politics and international relations lecturer at La Trobe University, Dr Simpson is now working in water policy.
She said that understanding the "unbelievably complicated" policy landscape of that role would set her up well for a position on council, given the amount of information that goes in front of councillors.
While Dr Simpson says she does not naturally seek the limelight, she felt she had to take personal action in standing for council to try and make a difference - with her concerns about climate change a particular spur.
"It's not something I had thought of doing before," she said. "When it comes to looking at policy, I have always been the one behind the scenes, looking and analysing what other people do.
"I never saw myself as a public figure but I feel really passionately that people who don't normally see themselves in those roles have a voice.
"I thought 'well, if you stand up and you're lucky enough to actually win, you can start having a say on how much green space is put aside, how we consider sustainability and environmental mitigation and adaptation into our policy designs.'"
Endorsed as an official Labor Party candidate, she will be contesting the Central Ward alongside former state MP Geoff Howard.
A working mother, with two children growing up in Ballarat, Dr Simpson is a staunch union representative and has a particular focus on governance.
"For me [another] really important [reason for standing] is around accountability," she said, adding that her background in politics lecturing had given her a deep understanding of the importance of transparency.
"That's one of the things I really want to see in council - not only that the community know what decisions they're making, but they understand why they're making them," she said.
"It's fundamental to our democracy. There's a really big danger when people stop feeling like they have a stake in their political leadership at any level.
There's a really big danger when people stop feeling that they have a stake in their political leadershipKumuda Simpson
"We've seen around the world what happens when people disengage from democracy and stop believing they have a voice."
Dr Simpson, who has also worked in government and in the not-for-profit sector, said she firmly believed in a collaborative approach.
"That's one of the things I have a real strength in... making sure whatever people's differences are, that we can actually find positive and creative solutions to the problems we face."
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