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  • Victorian Rural Community Leadership Programs

    2020 Regional Leadership

    The Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs (VRCLPs) are designed to assist individuals to develop their leadership capacity and prepare them to transition into leadership roles.

    The Gardiner Dairy Foundation provides scholarships for up to 10 emerging dairy leaders (one dairy farmer and one service provider) each year, across the five key dairy regions of Victoria. The scholarships are available for programs offered by the Gippsland Community Leadership Program, Fairley Leadership Program (Goulburn Murray), Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program, Community Leadership Loddon Murray and Leadership Great South Coast.

    This Community Development initiative forms part of the Gardiner Dairy Foundations commitment to investing in emerging leaders and practices. It aims to build the capability of dairy industry people so the industry has the required leadership, knowledge and skills for success.

    The Gardiner Dairy Foundation has been supporting VRCLP participants since 2004 and has funded over 60 people across the five programs over that period. Graduates often go on to join community groups or boards in managerial positions, and become involved strategic planning for their regions. They serve as role models and mentors within their communities and make a substantial contribution to the growth and fabric of the dairy community and their wider regional communities.

    Alpine valley Community Leadership Program


    The Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program aims to foster the development of a vibrant network of community and business leaders across Northeast Victoria and its border regions; and beyond.

    AVCLP provides potential and emerging leaders with a unique experiential learning “learning by doing” program that develops the participant’s personal leadership skills, their knowledge of the region and their network of professional and community contacts.

    The program is delivered annually from July to the following May. Each year up to 25 participants who live in the Northeast Victoria and border regions and who represent a diverse range of ages, professions, backgrounds and leadership experience are recruited for the program through a competitive selection process.

    Participants meet fortnightly at locations across the region, to work with the region’s most outstanding leaders whilst visiting a range of locations of significance to the region. The course also includes three retreats, where the personal leadership skills of the participants are developed and study tours to Melbourne and Canberra, where participants are able to meet State and Federal leaders.

    The Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program covers Northeast Victoria and the New South Wales border regions, comprising the Local Government Areas of Alpine Shire, Albury City, Benalla Rural City, Indigo Shire, Mansfield Shire, Moira Shire, Rural City of Wangaratta, Towong Shire and the City of Wodonga.

    View the 2028 AVCLP yearbook.

    Applications invite people who are:

    Applications will be assessed and shortlisted on the following criteria:

    Applications close: 5 June 2020

    Fairley (Goulburn Valley) Community Leadership Program


    Each year, a selection of the Goulburn Murray region’s most promising leaders become Fellows of the Fairley Leadership Program. They participate in an intensive 11 month program to study key challenges facing the Goulburn Murray region.

    The Fairley Leadership Program offers an unparalleled opportunity for in-depth learning about complex regional issues, and the partnerships and leadership skills needed to address them. Fairley Graduates (Fairley Fellows) make lifelong connections with diverse leaders – connections that help them advance professionally and in community leadership roles.

    Over the 11 months of the annual program, participants attend a launch and graduation, two weekend retreats, 15 seminar days, several dinners and study tours to Canberra and Melbourne. Participants are exposed to more than 120 leaders from all sectors including politics, business, industry, sport, not-for-profit and community. In doing so, they explore issues and opportunities for the region and consider leadership styles, attributes, ethics and values.

    The seminars are theme-based and include topics such as health, education, water, regional development, Aboriginal issues, small towns, the arts and agriculture. Program activities include field trips, case studies, panel discussions and presentations. Participants are also given some training in competencies such as board governance, public speaking and media skills.

    The program primarily covers the Shires of Campaspe, Mitchell, Moira, Murrindindi and Strathbogie, the Rural City of Benalla and Greater Shepparton but has accepted participants from Kerang, Wangaratta, Deniliquin, Tocumwal, Berrigan and Finley.

    Applications invite people who want to:

    • improve skills and confidence
    • increase effectiveness to further enrich the community
    • explore the major issues and opportunities for the Goulburn Murray region
    • learn from existing local, State and National Leaders
    • connect with other emerging leaders from the business, government, cultural, community and agricultural sectors.

    Applications will be assessed and shortlisted on the following criteria:

    • hold a decision-making role in employment or extensive community experience;
    • have more than five years work or community experience with a still-developing career;
    • demonstrate a strong interest in community affairs and a commitment to the community; and
    • be ready to accept the time commitment and challenges of the program year and ongoing community involvement.

    Applications open mid 2020

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