Building leadership capability to fight fires that have no boundaries

Regenerate Capital Region – a leadership development program designed in response to the 2019-20 bushfires – is currently open for applications. Its objective is to build a network of leaders that crosses borders and agencies to be able to respond to future bushfire emergencies.

The program is designed and delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) and is an opportunity for 48 diverse leaders representing ACT and NSW rural land carers, government agencies and emergency first responders to collaborate and align their efforts to build long-term community resilience and act in the future interests of the region.

The project received grant funding from the Australian Government. It is part of the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery program and aims to support and build resilience in bushfire impacted communities in NSW and the ACT.

It aligns with the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience ’s focus on achieving community resilience through collective and shared responsibility and empowering individuals and communities to create change.

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation’s Chief Executive Matt Linnegar said improving leadership at all levels is needed to drive improvements in disaster response.

“Our regional leadership development programs bring a diverse group of people from within one region together, immersing them in challenges facing their region and helping them to discover their own strategies,” he said.

“Regenerate Capital Region is essentially about getting community leaders together to build a strong leadership network that has a shared understanding and trust in one another and can collaborate to solve complex problems.

“When future fire emergencies occur, this network will be invaluable. They won’t be just names and positions; they’ll know and trust each other and be able to work through the challenges in front of them.”

Mr Linnegar said the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation provides experience and connections like few other organisations in the country.

“The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation has been developing leadership programs for almost 30 years and we have come a long way from catering for people in traditional and established leadership roles to harnessing the potential of all people in rural, regional and remote Australia,” he said.

“The core of what we do is exposing people to situations and ideas that will enable them to see a bigger picture, a different perspective and ultimately have the courage to put their ideas into action, bringing others with them.”

The program funds 48 places across two programs and is delivered in two face-to-face residential sessions.

The programs will run:

PROGRAM 1: 19-24 March & 25-27 August 2023
PROGRAM 2: 16-21 April 2023 & 15-17 September 2023

Regenerate Place-Based Resilience Leadership Programs are on offer in the Nambucca Valleys, Snowy Valleys, Capital Region, Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and Shoalhaven regions. Applications for Regenerate Capital Region are now open via an online application at and close on 31 October.

Listen to Matt’s interview with ABC Canberra.

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