Australian Rural Leadership Program

The Australian Rural Leadership Program supports individuals who want to respond to regional, rural, and remote Australia’s most complex challenges, as well as the opportunities that arise.


Established leaders ready to tackle complex challenges and have significant impact on rural, regional and remote Australia.


15-months program including 4 face-to-face sessions between 5-10 days in length, online sessions and independent project work.

This program includes both international and remote domestic travel with isolation from day-to-day duties and limited to no contact.


Program costs are covered by funding partners. Between 30-35 sponsored places are available each year and each scholarship is valued at $60,500.

Participant program fee: $5,500

Delivery mode & venue

Combination of face-to-face residential workshops, online sessions and project work both individually and with fellow participants.


Cohorts are announced every February and the program runs from June until September the following year.

Course 31 schedule (tentative):
Session 1: 10-21 June 2024
Session 2: 15-24 October 2024
Session 3: 6-11 April 2025
Session 4: 19-28 August 2025
Graduation: August 2025
Course 32: June 2025 - August 2026.


Applying for the ARLP is competitive and rigorous. We match the applicant receiving the scholarship to a funding partner whose industry or purpose they align with.

Annual course intake is between June & August. Expressions of interest are open all year round.
Register interest for Course 32 now!

Lead in rural, regional & remote Australia

We envision thriving communities in regional, rural, and remote Australia where people work with one another and the environment around them; respectfully, boldly and intuitively. Become a part of it.

Through challenge-based and experiential learning, you’ll get the opportunity to immerse yourself in these indispensable experiences and networks. The experiences you have here will shape the rest of your career and life.

What you’ll take away from the Australian Rural Leadership Program

Innovate and think of new ideas to tackle challenges

Think of current and future challenges. What new ideas or collaborations will empower you to respond to them? Innovation is essential in making change.

Identify challenges and how to overcome them

Look at your sector and community. What obstacles and barriers exist? How might we remove them? You’ll learn to not only identify challenges but overcome them, too.

Wonder more about yourself and the world

Learn to check in and ask yourself the hard questions. Learn about your behaviour and the world you operate in. Wonder leads to awareness and awareness? It leads to great leadership.

Nourish your relationships and connections

How are your relationships and connections established? Do you tend to them? Relationships need to be nourished to thrive, and your connections can define your leadership.

Be persistent in your vision

You have the vision to make change in rural, regional, and remote Australia. So, how will you remain committed? How will you stay committed to your vision through the trial and error stages?

Before you start

The Australian Rural Leadership Program is a big commitment. There’s so much to run through, and we need your time, focus, and commitment to deliver the content in a meaningful way. You’ll need to be able to commit to 15 months of sessions, which will take place across Australia and overseas. 

We recommend you speak with your family and your employer before you apply. They need to understand exactly the commitment you’re making and be supportive of the time you’ll be investing.

Each year’s program is tailored to the cohort​​

The Australian Rural Leadership Program wouldn’t be effective if we delivered the same program every year. The point is that we want to react and adapt to current and relevant problems in our sector. Each year, we take the demographic and objectives of our cohort into consideration, along with the current issues being faced in rural Australia.

This allows us to deliver a highly relevant experience that gives our participants the chance to learn in this real-world context. You’ll gain adaptive leadership skills that support you in confidently overcoming challenges and acting for the greater good.

Activities you’ll engage in

Discovery and awareness session

Increase your self-awareness and how you impact others. The program will mostly take place in an isolated location. You’ll be challenged on an individual and group level and, as part of this, will receive time for reflection and connection to Country and Traditional Custodians.

Connection and mobilisation session

Immerse yourself in the opportunities and challenges facing Australia and the Indo-Pacific region and explore critical leadership responses.

Networks and affiliation session

You’ll be invited to select an area of your leadership to develop. It’s an immersive, deep dive into a range of areas, including negotiation, mediation, governance, advocacy, design-thinking and systems-thinking.

Influence and impact session

We’ll take a look at leadership, influence and advocacy at a national level. This session also covers community resilience and includes a multi-day immersion on Country.  *Session structure subject to change.

Become a fellow

If you’ve graduated from the ARLP and met all the program requirements, you can request to become an Australian Rural Leadership Foundation fellow. This gives you access to regular networking opportunities, allowing you to make meaningful connections and engage in leadership conversations. As a fellow, you’ll also have more chances to collaborate with a professional network of peers from rural, regional, and remote Australia. Join the ARLF fellowship to take your leadership journey even further.

Program experience causes Susan to reassess the world

Susan grew up on a dairy farm at Flinders, on the Mornington Peninsula and with her family, operates a 3,500ha dry-land cropping enterprise near Horsham. She has served on…

Background in the arts fuels passion to give back

Fiona Gaske’s first experience of immersion was in the arts. With the support of her loving  parents, Fiona’s childhood was filled with drama and dance classes. Her true love…

For Michelle breaking down stereotypes led to deeper understanding

Kuku Yalanji woman Michelle Deshong was born the oldest grandchild on both sides of her family.  “Despite having no say in it at all, my order of birth  in the…


You’ll walk away with a meaningful network

ARLP Graduates get exclusive access to our diverse, national alumni network of more than 2,000 rural, regional, and remote leaders. Surround yourself with like-minded leaders who are just as dedicated to making a positive impact and facilitating changes in their communities as you are. 

All ARLP Graduates who meet all the program requirements can also request to become an ARLF Fellow. This offers you regular networking opportunities, resulting in better connections and engagement in leadership conversations. The fellowship offers you more chances to connect and work with a professional network of peers across rural, regional and remote Australia.

Want to recommend someone other than yourself? Use our Shoulder Tap.

Want to know more?

Register interest today and start your journey to join exclusive access to our diverse, national alumni network of more than 2,500 rural, regional, and remote leaders. Surround yourself with like-minded leaders who are just as dedicated to making a positive impact and facilitating changes in their communities as you are. 

View the Course 31 Applicant Brochure.

View the Course 31 Partner Prospectus.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Want to recommend someone other than yourself? Use our Shoulder Tap.
Verified by MonsterInsights