We talk a lot about gender parity in politics, and rightfully so, but why are there so many older Shoalhaven councillors and so few younger ones?
Independent councillor Nina Digiglio works as a Parkinson's nurse during the day and a councillor at night, and she believes Shoalhaven councillors skew old because the role is not a full-time job.
"Young [councillors] still have to work through the day. They've got mortgages to pay and they don't own their own home like a lot of older [councillors]," she said.
As a result, older people who are retired pursue Shoalhaven council election because they have more time on their hands to do the job, she said.
"Those in their 50s like myself are still paying off their mortgages, managing kids, managing their work and still want to have a voice in council so they can represent the younger generations coming through," she said.
A spokesperson from the Victorian Local Governance Association [NSW does not have an equivalent] said the four year commitment may deter young people from entering local politics as they are busy with the start of their careers.
The councillor advocacy group said they have seen many young councillors choose not to recontest after serving one term because the role is not compensated as a full-time job.
Cr Digiglio said being a full-time Parkinson's nurse is emotionally taxing and physically exhausting, taking away time she would rather devote to her constituency.
She said she often can't make it to openings and events which could allow her to better connect with members of the public.
She said she usually gets to her last council email at 11pm after a 10km morning run and a full day of work looking after patients.
"I try to answer every single one because if people have taken the time to write to you as the local representative, I feel an obligation and a responsibility to answer them back," she said.
Greens councillor John Levett said he "[doesn't] know how Nina does it.
"She's got a full-time job with the energy of six people. But that's not the way it should work," he said.
"Nina and I would put in 40 or 50 hours of council work a week and we get $20,000 a year plus car expenses. And that's alright [for me] because I signed up for that and I knew what it was.
"But if we want good decision making and dedicated councillors who can devote the time needed to the job, then we need to look again at the way other states do it and make some changes to how councils run."
Cr Levett is calling for broad reform of council including how meetings run, the code of conduct that allows for poor behaviour in meetings and the dominance of factions.
He says it might include making changes to encourage younger councillors such as making it a full time job like it is in Queensland.