Graham Smith rides against the wind

Building Community Resilience Through Leadership

Our beautiful country has been through so much in recent years. Bushfires to floods, cyclones and more. Each of these natural disasters leaves a lasting impact on the community. The Regenerate Regional Leadership programs see us select a region that’s been affected by natural disaster and work to build leadership capacity in that community.

Build resilience in your community & foster adaptive responses

In a community where natural disasters can strike at any time, adaptability is essential. The Regenerate Regional Leadership program is designed by the ARLF, and this particular program is funded by the Australian and NSW Government’s Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund. With a 30-year history of delivering leadership programs across rural, regional and remote Australia, we’re experienced in developing courageous and authentic networks of leadership, along with adaptable communities.

Are you committed to responding to challenges and opportunities? Do you work well in a collaborative setting? Do you share and explore best practices at work and in your community? Are you generally passionate about leadership and driving change in your community?

This program allows you to meet like-minded people in your community and pool your ideas and resources to create real change. You’ll be empowered to cultivate resilient, vibrant regions where human and natural systems thrive

The plan

At Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, we’re committed to creating a national leadership network. Comprised of dedicated regional Australians who know what resilience is and what it means not only for them but for their communities. We want a skilled and supported team of people with shared values to optimistically walk regional Australians everywhere into the future.

When can I apply?

Applications close 31st October.

How much will it cost?

Thanks to our program partners and government funding, this program is free. You should note that you will be required to cover travel and personal expenses for the course of the program.

When does the program run?

There are two intakes for this program

Session 1: 19-24 March & 25-27 August 2023

Session 2: 16-21 April 2023 & 15-17 September 2023

Where is it?

This program is for people in these regions: Canberra | Yass | Michelago | Burra | Bredbo | Queanbeyan | Bumbalong | Tharwa | Royalla

Who can participate?

Rural landholders or managers, emergency first responders and local government employees who want to build resilience in their communities and improve future bushfire responses.

Take your community into your own hands

Regeneration can mean many things to different people in our communities. When we talk about regeneration in this context, we’re speaking about the repair and restoration of our community and the ecosystems that exist within it. To do this, we need to gather courageous people ready to take action from within the community. Those who already hold space and care deeply about the community surrounding them.

We can change our society by establishing new norms and behaviours through the social cues we signal to each other or the actions we take. Those actions, coupled with the conversations we hold, the songs we write, the films we make or the stories we share online, all shape and create culture, and that culture then determines what thrives or dies. If humanity is a forest, then people are the seeds, and the culture is the soil: its health determines how we grow.

What you’ll take away from the program


You’ll learn to walk your talk. Live your values and form genuine connections in your community.


Understand yourself, others, and the systems in which we operate. Become willing to modify behaviours.


Respond to changing contexts with ease and become open to alternative perspectives.


Align yourself with others in your community to enrich problem-solving initiatives and innovation.


Commit to actions or initiatives that require risk-taking to move from ‘what exists now’ to ‘what could exist’.


Influence and persistently mobilise others for a purpose beyond yourself, for the greater good.

Lead your community to greatness. You’ll get to drive change in your own community.

We’re looking for leaders who are courageous and understand how to effectively create and lead productive change in the complex and interconnected world we live in.

You’ll gain an understanding of personal leadership styles, strengths, and challenges. Through collaboration and networking, you’ll build effective communication skills, networks and strong ongoing relationships with fellow participants. You’ll explore ways to lead teams, communities, and organisations and, within this, develop a wide range of leadership tools and strategies.

With the help and support of your new peers, you’ll learn to co-design and facilitate shared outcomes within teams, organisations and communities.

Frequently asked questions

Have a question that we haven’t answered below? Get in touch with our friendly team. We’re happy to help.

You must attend all sessions in order to graduate from the program. Our programs are designed to build your awareness and experience through each session. Experiential learning is one of the most engaging and deep methods of learning. Wrapping up your learnings through reflection is crucial for a positive learning experience. If you don’t intend to commit fully, this program may not be right for you. We’ll do our best to make sure you don’t miss out if unforeseen circumstances stop you from attending, though. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss concerns with our program team.

For more information, view our Participant Attendance Policy.

Aside from some travel and personal expenses to, from and during sessions, the program is free to attend, thanks to our program partners.

The project has received grant funding from the Australian Government.

Our programs are based on experiential learning and are designed to create more time for networking and social connections through evening activities. Being away from home and the habitual place of work takes away the distractions of everyday life. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the learning experience.

Regional leadership programs don’t just benefit individual participants. They also benefit the cohort and the entire community.

At an individual level, you invest in yourself to develop the skills, mindset and networks to understand and influence uncertainty and create vibrant communities for generations to come. You grow your networks within and outside of your community by joining the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation’s national network. That is more than 1,700 people working for the greater good of their communities.

The community will gain a group of courageous and influential people. These people will have the skills to gather support from within the community and their new network to put the plan into action.

Drive change and build resilience in your community

Contribute to something bigger. Join the next round of our Regenerate Regional Leadership program and get the tools to lead change.

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