For the first time this year, Gardiner Dairy Foundation sponsored several emerging leaders to undertake the Marcus Oldham Leadership Program.

“The opportunity to participate in the Leadership Program enables leaders within the agriculture industry, like myself, to gain skills that not only benefit the industry but also their workplaces and businesses,” Lisa Broad, one of this year’s participants, said.

The live-in program takes place over five days in Geelong at Marcus Oldham College and is one of the longest running rural leadership programs in the nation.

“It was a life changing experience that opened my eyes and taught me how I could not only improve my leadership skills, but the skills I have learnt to continue to work on myself every single day,” Kelsey Pilbeam, another one of this year’s participants said.

The program has developed a strong reputation in the agricultural and agribusiness sector, attracting support from a wide range of industry and rural community groups from diverse regional backgrounds.

“Studying at Marcus Oldham has changed the way I look at everyday situation. It teaches you to take a different approach and think outside the box,” Lisa said. “It also encourages you to push yourself beyond your comfort zone which can be confronting but also very rewarding.”

The five-day workshop involves facilitators who have both the training skills and empathy to understand the issues facing rural industry and communities, and industry background to assist in the development of solutions.

“If every emerging leader was given the chance to participate in this course or a similar one, the agricultural industry will have a very bright and exciting future,” Lisa said.

Marcus Oldham’s education model is based on small class sizes with extensive student to lecturer contact time. Students of Marcus Oldham are all encouraged to have several years working in industry before attending the College.

“I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to be a good leader and the best version of themselves. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity through Gardiner Foundation to attend this course and meet with some truly amazing people,” Kelsey said. “It was inspirational to see the dairy industry so well represented by people with inspirational stories.”

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