Creating a new normal

Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program

Develop the skills, network & mindset to lead your community into a resilient future

Drought Resilience Leaders Development is a leadership development program to prepare 12 agricultural communities for the impacts of future drought and climate change. It is suitable for people living in these communities who are interested in building long-term drought resilience, developing their own leadership skills, and becoming better communicators within their families and communities.

Are you an engaged community member or want to change something to benefit your community?

you are most likely already practising leadership, even if you’re not in a traditional leadership role in your day job. The activities on this program give you an understanding of leadership as a practice and how you can work with others to achieve better outcomes and solve problems.

You’ll emerge from the program connected to a network of up to 40 forward-thinkers ready to drive positive change in your community.

You’ll leave your comfort zone, but that’s where you’ll grow.

While the activities might take you out of your comfort zone a little and test your resilience and collaboration skills, you become equipped with a set of skills to manage these situations and be prepared to step up in real life. All activities are based on scenarios specific to your region. Because your fellow participants come from different backgrounds, you learn how to collaborate with others, even if they have opposing opinions to your own.

When can I apply?

8 August – 25 September 2022

How much will it cost?

Up to 40 places on this program are funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

When does the program run?

Session 1: Spring Bay Mill, Triabunna

Session 2: Panorama Hotel, St Helens

Which areas are eligible?

Dorset, Break O’Day, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Sorell, Tasman, and Flinders Island Council

Important dates

Applicant Q&A & Webinar 15 September 2022 at 7.00pm

Program Dates
Session 1: 10 – 12 November 2022

Session 2: 4 – 5 December 2022

Apply for your region’s program now

The Drought Resilience Program is customised to the region we’re delivering it in. So, we open applications for different states at different times of the year. Take a look below to see if your region’s eligible. Tasmania, you can apply now!

Join your region (map placeholder)

Donna Taggart, Goulburn Valley

All people in all sorts of ways are impacted by the lack of water. We all need water, it’s the one common theme through all beings, all people, everyone, everywhere. So I think the benefits of learning about how different people at different levels are impacted can only be advantageous and have a ripply effect.

Werner Vogels, Goulburn Valley

The first session was two days on Zoom, [it was] just really inspiring to be honest. Just coming together and talking about what we mean by resilience, what we mean by leadership, and how can we network in the Goulburn Valley area and make sure we do position ourselves as thought leaders and change agents to become more resilient when we talk to one another about natural disasters?

What you’ll take away from the program

Wonder more about yourself and your community

Be curious and question the status quo. Find creative solutions and new approaches to complex problems. Learning to wonder more leads to great leadership.

Face challenges with confidence

Great leadership is defined in how challenges are approached. How can you lead change and action new ideas? You’ll learn to harness the power of diverse thinking and become a bit of a rebel.

Innovate and find new solutions to new problems

In a world of uncertainty in future climate and our responses, innovation is more important than ever. Learn to harness a new mindset and how to succeed through failure.

Nourish your relationships and connections

Personal relationships, professional networks, and social ecosystems hold undeniable value when it comes to initiating change. You’ll learn how to nourish your existing relationships and create new ones that bolster your leadership.

Be persistent in your vision

Leadership isn’t defined by the wins. It’s defined by the losses you’ve overcome. Persistence is a key pillar of resilience – it’s how you continue to stay true to your vision and thrive in the face of adversity.

What our change makers say

How to apply

You’re welcome to apply below. Positions for this program are competitive, with only 40 spots offered per region. These places are funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund. Successful applicants are only expected to pay for their travel and meals throughout the program.


Apply for a place in the next round of applications for the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program.

Frequently asked questions

Don’t see your question below? Get in touch with our friendly team.

Anyone who wants to build resilience and leadership skills in rural, regional, and remote communities. You’ll have a desire to help your own or other rural Australian communities prepare for drought and natural disasters. You’ll also want to overcome general challenges, either because you live in these communities or because your work relates to them or the agribusiness sector. You might have lived experience with drought, too, or have the desire to develop your leadership capabilities.

The Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund covers this program. As a participant, you will only need to fund your own travel and meals. You’ll receive an allowance of up to $500 to cover up to 50% of your travel, meals and additional accommodation costs.

Your safety is so important to us, and we hope you don’t become unwell or injured! We’re well-prepared for the program and have first aid officers available to assist in an emergency. Should you, unfortunately, contract COVID, we have response plans in place to get you home as quickly as we can.

The location and schedule of the program will likely make it difficult for you to work on the program. We also don’t want you to reduce your ability to focus and get the most out of it. We ask that you make prior arrangements with your workplace and inform them that you will not be able to work during the program period.

We had a team of experts from the consortia and delivery partners analyse data for 61 regions. Using that data and its insights, we selected the regions where we could make the biggest impact.

The ARLF places a large emphasis on experiential learning. It’s not just about you fully immersing yourself in the learning experience, although that is great. It’s about creating more time for networking and building social connections through our evening activities.

You must attend all sessions in order to graduate from the program. The program is designed to build your awareness and experience throughout each session. Experiential learning is one of the most engaging and deep methods of learning. Wrapping up your learnings and reflection is crucial for a positive learning experience.

We can’t stress enough how important your commitment to the program is. Of course, we will do our best to make sure you don’t miss out should unforeseen circumstances stop you from attending. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss concerns with our team.

For more information, view our Participant Attendance Policy.

Places in the program are awarded based on the information provided in your application.

Aside from standard questions about yourself, we will be asking you to list any community and/ or volunteer positions that you currently hold or have held in the past. You will also need to explain what you have learned from the position.

An example may be: 

Tuckshop Assistant, Gumtree School, for two years, I have learnt to ensure high-quality food standards and how to work with different personalities and think on my feet.

We will also be asking if you have completed any other leadership programs or qualifications.

Lastly, we will want to know what impact you want to have on rural, regional and remote Australia as a result of your participation in this program.

A selection panel will assess each application based on the following selection criteria:

  1. Committed to initiating and leading significant change in their sector, community and/or region.
  2. Open to new ideas and demonstrate a willingness to learn, grow, adapt and change.
  3. Willing to complete an intensive leadership development program with a focus on experiential learning.
  4. Able to demonstrate previous experience and/or future capability in leadership.
  5. Ready to work collaboratively in their region on initiatives and plans for the future benefit of the region.

An engaging program tailored to your region

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation is dedicated to making change happen. To do this, we tailor the program to your region. All activities are based on scenarios specific to your region. You’ll find real value in collaborating with fellow participants from different backgrounds and learning how to collaborate with others, even when they have opposing opinions to your own.

Emerge from the program with connections in a network of up to 40 forward-thinkers ready to drive positive change in your community.

We’re raising the next generation of Aussie leaders driving resilience in their communities

Become part of a network of like-minded locals making change happen. Join the next round of our Drought Resilience Program.

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