Alumni connect August 2023

Vale Bruce Martin

We were so saddened to learn of the passing of one of our ARLP 24 participants, Bruce Martin, last month. A man from the community of Aurukun on Queenland’s western Cape York, he was a remarkable young leader, outstanding representative of his people and a prominent figure in Indigenous political circles. He served as a Director of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation from 2015-2021 as well as on the council of James Cook University. The ARLF’s executive team have reached out to his family to extend their condolences, as well as to express the condolences of the broader ARLF community. We also send our thoughts to fellow ARLP 24 participants.  

LARC National Alumni Forum

It was an exciting week in Canberra last week as we celebrated the culmination of the Leading Australian Resilient Communities (LARC) program. The celebration bought together two alumni representatives from each of the 10 LARC cohorts across the country, as well as CEO’s and program staff from all six leadership organisations who worked together to deliver the program over the last 12 months.  

The LARC program is essentially a national collaboration of six established leadership practitioners, whose collective history and work over many years is significant. The ARLF has been wanting to walk the talk (in terms of collaboration) and so this national initiative has led us to collaborate at an organisational level. And by choosing to work together with other organisations to lift leadership capacity across the country, all our voices have been amplified.

The Governor General, David Hurly and Her Excellency Linda Hurley kindly hosted us all for Welcome Drinks at Government House to kickstart the national gathering. The following day, local Ngambri Elder Paul House welcomed participants to Country at a special smoking ceremony at the National Gallery of Australia. For the rest of the gathering, the crew was based at Old Parliament House as the two representatives from each cohort shared a snapshot of their region, their cohort and a summary of their Community Action Initiatives.

One aim of the forum was to help create connections between each of the 10 cohorts, that in turn help foster greater connections across the broader LARC alumni. Meeting the 20 alumni representatives was such a pleasure. What a dynamic, talented and passionate group of leaders they are.  

Lastly, we continue to welcome all LARC participants to our alumni network – making special mention of our very last cohort to graduate from their program – WA Leaders group in the Mid-West Coast of WA. And it was lovely to meet their two representatives, Rohan and Ellen, in person and to be able to present their ARLF alumni pins to them last week. 

Kansas Leadership Centre – ‘When Everyone Leads’ Webinar 

We are so excited about this! 

Together with Tasmanian Leaders, the renowned Kansas Leadership Centre (KLC) will host a webinar for our collective alumni networks about their best-selling book ‘When Everyone Leads’. Co-written by KLC’s CEO Julia Fabris McBride and Ed O’Malley, Julia along with the Chief of Staff from Lead for America Joseph Shepard, will host an interactive webinar about the newly released book.

“You don’t need a title to start leading. Leadership is an activity, not a position; anyone can exercise leadership and when everyone does, organisations make progress on their toughest challenges,” says the KLC. 

ARLF Chief Executive Matt Linnegar encourages all alumni passionate about continuing to foster their leadership capacity to consider taking up this opportunity. 

“This session is for anyone looking to build on leadership beyond yourself, for the greater good. It’s very easy to miss the moments that come up every day to take the initiative and make a difference. It’s also common to find barriers like resistance to change or clashing values in your team can slow things down. What KLC are so good at articulating is the power when we collectively all take a leadership role. That collaborative effort is what gets things done, especially in our regions.”

Date: This three-hour webinar will be held on Thursday, 18 September from 10.00 am to 1.00pm AEST and will be hosted by Julia Fabris McBride and Joesph Shepard. Price includes the cost of an e-version of the book ‘When Everyone Leads’ and will be sent to you once you purchase your ticket.


  • General ticket: $119.95
  • ARLF/Tasmanian Leaders alumni discounted ticket: $74.95*

Book tickets now.

*Alumni will receive an email with a discount code.

Cuppa Tea’s at 3pm

Since late 2021, we have been offering our ARLF alumni the opportunity to connect again, as a cohort, via a one hour zoom call at 3pm. This opportunity has now been offered to all ARLP cohorts with over 200 people taking up the opportunity. And so, a big thanks to all of you who were able to take the time to join one of our Cuppas so far. 

The zoom call provided a relatively easy way for cohorts to reconnect with each other while also an opportunity to touch base with the Foundation, and a member of our Executive. Each Cuppa had a similar format – with everyone in attendance having the chance to update the group on their professional/personal lives as well as how they are continuing to contribute to their community/industry.

It’s been such a simple but successful initiative. The ease of which the technology allows for connection, from any location, is a gift to cohorts who are dispersed across the country (and the world), and whom are generally time poor. We know that a zoom call does not replace the magic of face-to-face connection, but we do think the calls have helped to re-energise cohort connections.

The Cuppa’s quickly became one of my favourite parts of the job. It was such a great chance for me to put faces to names, get an update of where alumni are at and to hear about the continued impacts the program. The energy and connection that exists between a cohort who completed a program five, 10, 15 or 20 plus years ago continues to amaze me. And although anywhere from four to 14 alumni joined each Cuppa, it has often provided the catalyst for further connection – alumni in attendance were spurred along to reach out to others who couldn’t join the zoom, future zoom calls were also planned, and a couple of cohorts are in the process of organizing reunions.   

We are currently in the process of planning the next series of Cuppas. We have offered the Cuppas to other program cohorts and will continue to explore this. Plus, we’d like to get into the routine of offering Cuppas to all cohorts 12 months post program. 

We can also see the potential of using the Cuppa formula for other cross cohort and program connection, as well as a way of connecting alumni on issues of interest. And we could use the Cuppas as a way for alumni to connect and seek guidance from the network about their current leadership challenges for example. The potential is huge. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on these ideas, we’d love to hear from you. Otherwise, stay tuned.  

ARLF Fellow Tess Herbert acknowledged with a national award

We were so thrilled to see ARLF Fellow Tess Herbert (and her husband Andrew) named as Farmers of the Year for 2023. 

Surprised, gobsmacked, speechless were some of the words Tess shared with me to describe how she felt by being awarded this honour.

“But getting this award helps to keep the catastrophic flooding events in Eugowra last year top of mind, so that people remember what happened. And that the recovery is still on-going,” Tess says.  

The Herberts run a medium-sized feedlot in Central West NSW for about 6000 head of cattle. They also run about 2000 sheep and breed a number of Angus cows, alongside cropping. But it’s been a tough few years with the drought, the pandemic and then the catastrophic flash floods that hit Eugowra last year, killing two people, and saw 150 more airlifted off their roofs. 

The Herbert’s pastures were submerged and lost in the flood and their best canola crop to date was washed away. 

“How do you recover from these events?” Tess asks.  “How do you best work with your community to recover? Well, you slowly tick of boxes, one at a time, to help local businesses, schools, farmers to get back on track.” 

When asked how Eugowra is doing, Tess replies: “Eugowra is doing OK. The community spirit is pretty good. We are all just hooking in and getting the job done.” 

I also wondered if and how Tess’ ARLP experience had helped her survive the challenges thrown at her over the last few years.  

“Yes, doing the ARLP has helped me enormously. It helps me every single day in my decision making and in my conversations around resilience. So yes – absolutely – doing the ARLP has made all the difference.”

In terms of the Herbert’s recent award, it was not just their resilience in the face of catastrophe that won over the judges. They were also impressed by the amount of innovation and diversity Andrew has brought into their grain and livestock farm. This combined with the amount of industry work undertaken by Tess makes them the dream team it seems!  

Congratulations again to you both. 

Alumni Gatherings


And finally, it was great to meet with Melbourne based alumni in Carlton in mid-July at a very cosy bar. Thank you Matt, Mal, Marcus, Miffy, Terrie, Lyn, Ron and Mary for taking the time out to join me and to connect other ARLF alumni in the network. We know that helping to create connection for those who live geographically close to each other is always beneficial. And there was definitely a ‘berry’ vibe on the night with two alumni heavily involved in that industry furiously chatting!! Fabulous to see! 

Save the Date! Central Queensland – Rockhampton 

We’re planning to host an Alumni gathering on the evening of Tuesday, 26 September 2023 in Rockhampton, from 6.30pm. Venue still to be decided. But if you live within cooee of Rockhampton, get this date in your diary and we will be in touch with those in the region with more details. 

– Julia Strang, Alumni Engagement Manager

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