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Drought resilience leadership development underway in the Eyre Peninsula

16 February 2022

Farmers and people working in agriculture, including local business owners, bankers, administrative staff and a hair salon owner are amongst 19 people from the Eyre Peninsula who 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. 

Ranging from Port Lincoln to Kimba, Wudinna, Waddikee and beyond, the 14 women and five men participating in the Eyre Peninsula region of the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program, have come together online to focus on leadership, networks, resilience.  

Congratulating the Eyre Peninsula 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 Eyre Peninsula cohort are diverse and come from a range of industries and backgrounds.”  

Eyre Peninsula 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, 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. Participants will meet virtually for the final development session next month. 

Program participant and Executive Officer at the Agricultural Innovation and Research EP (AIR EP) Board, Naomi Scholz, said the program offers many benefits. 

“Through the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program, I’m looking forward to further developing my skills so that I can build better relationships, understand more about what makes an effective leader and how we, as individuals and the business community, can work together to improve drought resilience in the Eyre Peninsula,” said Naomi. 

“Living in the Eyre Peninsula has normally meant that I have to travel outside the region to be able to take part in a learning experience like this Program. I’m really enjoying that this is regionally based and allows me to meet more people outside my industry who have a shared interest in helping others but have also experienced the impact of drought.” 

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 Eyre Peninsula through Community Extension 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.” Mr Linnegar added. They can also buddy up with a few others and combine those resources to deliver a joint project. 

About the 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 Development 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.