Australian Rural Leadership Program

The Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) is seen as the flagship leadership development program for emerging leaders in regional, rural and remote Australia. Each year Gardiner Dairy Foundation sponsors one ARLP scholarship for an individual who is contributing to the dairy industry through their commitment to leadership.

This initiative is part of Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s commitment to investing in capability development. ARLP is a unique opportunity for participants to become better leaders through building self-awareness, immersing themselves in new experiences and working intensively with like-minded people from across rural Australia. In return, participants are expected to share their learnings with the wider dairy industry.

Since 2015 the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has supported dairy farmers in Victoria to develop their leadership skills. Good leadership has a direct impact on dairy business performance and is critical to the long-term sustainability of the industry.

Leaders at all levels of dairy operations and in dairy communities contribute to improved outcomes through engaging and empowering others to become the best they can be in their work and in their communities. Becoming a better leader can be learned through programs like ARLP. It doesn’t happen by chance.

The ARLP course is based off of the Foundation’s Leadership Philosophy:

  • Disrupt: multiple experiential challenges (physical, emotional, mental, social and intellectual) in changing real-world situations.
  • Discover: opportunities for critical self-reflection and a deeper understanding of others’ perspectives.
  • Develop: behavioural intelligence, the ability to trust and support others and the confidence to lead in different contexts.
  • Deliver: tangible, positive change in your organisation, sector or community through new conversations and connections.
What does the program involve?

The ARLP is a 15-month program which takes place over five sessions, across Australia and Asia. Over 30 diverse leaders from across rural, regional and remote Australia, come together on a series of unique and immersive experiences to develop their leadership capabilities.

What will you do on the program?

You will undertake five face-to-face sessions in locations across Australia, including the remote Kimberley region in Western Australia and an overseas immersion. We provide additional development via flexible learning.

You will develop:

  • Communication in a range of spheres and approaches
  • Strategic thinking and behavioural intelligence
  • Capability to lead in different contexts and in complexity
  • Respectful influence and impact on others
  • Building and maintaining meaningful industry and community relationships
Application process:

Applications are now open. 

You will need to complete the application form online and upload a video to support your application (optional).

For information about what to include in your video, see here

For the application form, see here

Recommend someone for the program:

If you know someone suitable for the program, please fill out the Shoulder Tap form and they will be notified. ARLP will then follow up with more information about the program.

Shoulder Tap Form 


If you are unsure of your eligibility, or wish to discuss your potential application in more detail, please contact Matilda at

To view a list of ARLP graduates and Course directories, see ARLP Graduates.

Please contact ARLP for further information on 02 6281 0680 or email

If you would like additional support with your application, please contact Gardiner Dairy Foundation.

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