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Drought Resilience Leadership Development underway in New South Wales

14 February 2022

Farmers and people working in agriculture, local business owners, financial services providers and health professionals are amongst 35 people from the North West Slopes and Plains region of New South Wales who have commenced the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program. The program is an initiative of the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and designed to strengthen the future of regional communities through capacity building and collaboration. 

From Lightning Ridge to Tamworth, Winton, Walgett, Bingara and beyond, the participants in the NSW North West Slopes and Plains Development Program have come together online to focus on leadership, networks, resilience.  

Congratulating the North West Slopes and Plains participants who put their hand up to take part in this unique opportunity, ARLF Chief Executive Matt Linnegar said, “The Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program is bringing together a group of dedicated locals who are passionate about building resilience in their region. Our North West Slopes and Plains cohort are diverse and come from a range of industries and backgrounds.”  

The NSW North West Slopes and Plains is one of 12 regions around Australia selected to participate in the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program. The program is currently underway in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula and the Northern Wheatbelt in Western Australia, while participants in Central West Queensland have been the first to complete this Program. 

The Program will be delivered over eight days and focus on topics including adaptive leadership, change theory, personal and community resilience, climate science, problem solving, mental and physical wellbeing, scenario planning, influence and network leadership. With the second session to be held online, participants will then meet again in person in Bingara for the final development session next month. 

Program participant and District Veterinarian / Emergency Management Coordinator at North West Local Land Services, Megan Davies, said the program offers many benefits. 

“As a volunteer firefighter and a rescue operator, Covid has impacted the number of opportunities I have to learn new things and getting involved in programs that contribute to helping our communities – which is one reason why the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program stood out for me,” said Megan. 

“I look forward to working with other likeminded people from different backgrounds, who are equally enthusiastic about improving our communities through change, and sharing that positive energy to make the communities better. I’m also keen to learn new leadership and teamwork skills that will help foster camaraderie among more people, to work together to make our communities and industries more resilient and ready to face the future, because our volunteer organisations always need more people to help keep our towns alive.”  

After completing the development program, participants have the opportunity give back to their communities with a grant program designed to help share the knowledge they have gained. 

“One of the benefits of undertaking this program is participants can support resilience action North West Slopes and Plains through Community Engagement Grants. Participants will have the opportunity to apply for a $4,000 grant each and can elect to work on an initiative individually or collectively buddy up with a few others and combine those resources to deliver a joint project.” Mr Linnegar added. 

Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program | Applications Now Open 

Be part of a network of mentors and mentees. Share knowledge, learn from experts and 

build capability in areas like climate science, resilience, wellbeing and agricultural practice. There is no cost to participants. Find out more or apply here.  

About Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program 

The Australian Government established the Future Drought Fund to provide a sustainable source of funding to help Australian farmers and communities prepare for and respond to the impacts of drought. As one of its foundation programs, the Future Drought Fund has invested $11 million in the Drought Resilience Leaders Program. Led by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) in collaboration with consortium of partners, the Program gives farmers and regional communities the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, mindset and networks to lead their communities into the future in 12 focus regions across Australia. In parallel, ARLF is running a national mentoring program to foster knowledge sharing and build future drought resilience.  

Find out more.

Media Contact: 

For any interview requests with Matt Linnegar, participants or queries related to the program, please contact Sonia Morris (Seftons) at sonia.morris@seftons.com.au or on 0421 672 162.