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December update

18 December 2020

As we rush to the end of 2020, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas. Like you we are looking forward to better things in 2021! 

It’s understandable to look back on 2020 as ‘annus horribilis’ but I wonder on reflection whether there have also been a few silver linings for us all. For me, ‘lock down’ provided the opportunity to get off the carousel, spend more time with family and find time for critical reflection.  

As we near year end, I am pleased to say that the ARLF is in a good place and poised for new opportunities. As we close the year, we reflect on our achievements to date which can be found in the ARLF’s 2019/20 Annual Report. A few highlights include:  

  • The rapid expansion and increasing diversity of alumni – now numbering over 1,750 people, with 19% identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. 
  • Innovation in our curriculum design and delivery of programs. We have successfully completed multiple program sessions in a multi-modal format involving regional hubs, community immersion and online.  
  • Delivery of a virtual webinar series to engage with alumni during COVID-19. Topics included Leading through Crisis, Leading with Resilience and Doing Leadership Differently and featured alumni panellists and other stakeholders. 
  • His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia was named as our Patron-in-Chief.  
  • Developed of a pilot Mentoring Program for the National Farmers’ Federation to support graduates of the 2030 Leaders’ Program.  
  • An increase in philanthropic support and donations despite the hardships many were dealing with including the ravages of drought, bushfires and floods.  
  • The continued support of our partners and donors, most notably Tim and Gina Fairfax, meant we were able to remain in a healthy operating position.  
  • Collaborated with likeminded organisations like the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) and Regional Opportunities Australia (ROA). 
  • Experimented with a place-based leadership model through Leadership for our Regions (piloted in Wide Bay-Burnett, QLD, and South West WA). 
  • Expanded our team locations from ACT and Queensland to include Victoria and Western Australia. 
  • Formalised a network of ARLF Associates who bring specialist skills and connections to our planning and delivery of programs and initiatives. 
  • Deepened our international connections through our leadership networks. 

Looking ahead to 2021, I am delighted to announce that ARLF will lead a consortia to design and deliver the Future Drought Fund: Drought Resilience Leaders program. Consortia partners include the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and the Rural Economies Centre for Excellence (RECoE). This is a significant undertaking and recognises our ability to deliver impact through leadership development programs and initiatives. 

Further info is below and we look forward to sharing this work with you as it transpires. 

The Minister’s announcement 
Our media release  

Together with our alumni and Associates, we are well placed to act as a trusted intermediary, walking alongside communities to help them build capability as their chart their own course.  

Finally, I’d like to welcome four new team members who joined us recently, who combined with our existing team, will play a strong role in shaping our future. Join me in welcoming new members to our team

Grant Cameron (Manager, Leadership Programs – Milparanga) 
Naomi Jeffs (Coordinator, Leadership Programs – Milparanga) 
Erin Burrows (Coordinator, Leadership Programs) and  
Mary McMahon (Coordinator, Business Support) 

Our people remain our greatest strength as we adapt to the challenges and opportunity ahead.  

Thank you for your support in 2020. 

Matt Linnegar, ARLF Chief Executive