June Alumni Connect

Welcoming new alumni  

We are always thrilled to welcome new alumni into the network and May proved to be another big month for graduations!  We had a two LARC cohorts graduate one each side of the country – one in Wide Bay Burnett, Southern QLD and the other in Kalgoorlie, WA. Our Established Milparanga program, held between Albany and Perth, also heralded another alumni bunch.   And our 8th AgriBusiness cohort graduated in late May in Orange, NSW, and I was lucky enough to be in the room to feel the post program vibe! Conversations with as many participants as possible is always my main aim as I am keen to hear first-hand about their program experiences. “Best thing I’ve done” and “life changing” are just two comments that immediately spring to mind from the night.  

I wish I had a magic carpet and the time to attend every graduation – I really do. I would love the chance to personally welcome all new alumni into the network.   

Again – a warm welcome to all new alumni.  We look forward to walking alongside you as you continue with your leadership journey.  

Meaningful conversations with our First Nations Alumni    

The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), a highly valued partner of the ARLF, are supporting us to convene multiple conversations across the country with our First Nations Alumni. We are hosting these conversations to seek guidance and insight to inform the development of meaningful activities to engage culturally respectful conversations that fully support learning for Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants across all our program offerings.    

Conversations have been held in Townsville and Perth, with another one set for Cairns. ARLF Associates Michelle Deshong and Briony Arnold have helped to facilitate these conversations.  Briony will bring all the findings together into one report that will be shared with the NIAA and we then work to embed the learnings across all our program curriculum/s.  

Knowing that not everyone can attend these conversations in person, we will host online sessions, facilitated again by Briony on June 22nd and a second one on June 23rd (for those in WA) for our First Nations Alumni who are keen to participate. We will reach out via email with more details of these sessions.  

Upcoming Alumni Events in Melbourne and Adelaide  

We have a couple of alumni gatherings on the horizon, so get those diaries out if you live in (or in proximity of) Adelaide or Melbourne.  

For those in Adelaide, Matt (our Chief Executive) will be in town and will host an alumni lunch on Wednesday June 28th. We will reach out to you via email with details once they are confirmed.  

And to those in Melbourne, please join me for a gathering on the evening of Thursday July 13th. More details to follow but I will be reaching out to all of you in Victoria (knowing that many of you travel to Melbourne for a variety of reasons).  

Your thoughts and ideas about our alumni… 

We are in the process of doing some big picture thinking about our Alumni and so we are exploring the potential for our rapidly growing network.  

The process means we are looking internally and speaking with some members of the Board, as well as with all our Executive team and staff. We are also looking externally to learn from others with established alumni networks as well as delving into research papers undertaken by us, and others, about best practise in terms of engaging networks with impact.   

And of course, we’d also love to hear from you.  

If you are keen to join a conversation about our alumni network and its potential to best serve our regional communities, please reach out. We will be hosting a series of 1-hour online conversations in small groups and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Simply send an email expressing your interest to alumni@rural-leaders.org.au and we will be back in touch.    

Thanks to ARLF Fellows 

We had a fantastic response from ARLF Fellows keen to support a new C30 ARLP participant by having a conversation with them after completion of Session 1. Thanks to all of you who put up their hand to help – we had more Fellow’s than we needed in a very short space of time.  We know the value of peer-to-peer support, plus it begins the cross-cohort connection process, so we were really thrilled so many of you are willing to take part and help.   

And good luck to all C30 participants, and staff, as ARLP kicks off this week. Super exciting time ahead.  

Written by Julia Strang, Alumni Engagement Manager

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