We are a not-for-profit organisation established in 1992 with the aim to develop leaders for rural, regional and remote Australia.

These leaders could influence change across organisations, industries as a whole, and rural communities in general.

Our programs:

  • take an ethical approach
  • challenge assumptions, and
  • seek to respectfully influence change for the greater good of Australia.

An act of faith

The idea for our organisation came from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) in 1991 and 1992.

RIRDC looked at how to encourage the development of new rural industries and thriving communities.

Board members wanted an organisation that could influence change across Australian rural industries as a whole, and rural communities in general.

It was identified that a key difference between successful rural communities and those perceived as failing was not due to inherent natural resources or strategic position, but to an individual or group of individuals. These individuals were standing up and taking on leadership roles.

They concluded that leaders were required, not only in state and national political roles, but within local schools, on hospital boards, within community and sporting groups, and local industries.

We were formed to nurture and advance rural Australia. We were registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on 3 September 1992 as a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee. Due to our role, we have deductible gift recipient status.

A model that works

We have have stood the test of time. Our achievement is evident through our graduates whose impact has been deeply felt across the depth and breadth of Australia.

Our founders pioneered a model for the leadership program that provided the impetus and fuelled the imaginations of hundreds of graduates.

In 2008, in keeping with the ever-shifting challenges within contemporary rural Australia, the Foundation refined and redeveloped its leadership model. In 2020 it was refined again. This model forms the basis for our curriculum and our suite of programs that develop the practical, innovative and ethical approaches needed for effective leadership in the businesses, organisations, industries and communities of rural Australia.

Leaders of the Foundation

Over the years, many leaders have contributed significantly to the growth and success of the Foundation. We appreciate the dedication of past and present supporters.

Below is a list of our past Board Chairs and Chief Executives/Executive Directors:

Board Chairs

Chief Executives / Executive Directors

Rgt Hon Sir Ninian Stephen


Mr Mike Beckingham


Mr John Allwright AO


Mr John Quantrill


Mr Bruce Gowrie Smith


Dr Steve Clark


Mr David Asimus AO


Mr Steve Marshall


Mr Robert Ferguson


Ms Lisa Wilson


Mr David Crombie AM


Dr Lesley Fitzpatrick


Prof Peter Shergold AC


Dr Wendy Craik AM



When I would look around the board table, it was full of graduates. From the cotton perspective, the ARLP has been a wonderful investment Mike Logan, ARLF Fellow
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