Victorian dairy farmers aiming for professional development can now apply for a Gardiner Dairy Foundation scholarship to enter the prestigious 2022 Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP).

“The ARLP scholarship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that immerses participants in a series of unique experiences to develop their leadership capabilities,” Gardiner Dairy Foundation CEO, Dr Clive Noble, said.

The scholarship is part of Gardiner Foundation’s continued investment in strengthening the dairy industry through the development of its people.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation ARLP recipient will participate in the program alongside around 30 successful applicants from diverse regional and rural backgrounds, industries and communities.

A 2019-20 Gardiner ARLP recipient, Stuart Crosthwaite from NE Victoria, said the experience was “transformative”. He now role models a more inclusive style of leadership which he hopes will ripple through his business and the wider dairy industry.

“I have learnt a lot about myself, and how my style affects the people around me,” Mr Crosthwaite said. “I have a better understanding of how connecting with the people around you can get a better outcome for the team.

“My leadership style is now more of a facilitator than a footy captain,” he said.

Dr Noble said applicants must be willing to use their ARLP leadership development for the benefit of the dairy industry after completing the program.

He said Gardiner’s sponsorship of farmers like Stuart provided a pathway to develop their leadership skills.  “Supporting dairy farmers has always been a high focus area for Gardiner Dairy Foundation. We know that with training through the ARLP program, farmers like Stuart will continue to make a positive contribution to the dairy industry.”

Applications for the 2022 ARLP scholarship (Course 29) are now open and will close on Sunday 29 August. Victorian dairy farmers interested in applying can visit to submit their application.