April Alumni Update

March has been a busy month of alumni engagement with a lot of activity taking place.

Vale John Kerin AO, FTSE 

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the recent passing of ALRF Honorary Fellow John Kerin – a truly a significant leader of this country. His meritorious service to rural Australia and its communities, and his commitment to advancing agriculture through values that are commensurate with those of the Foundation, is well recognised.  

John served as the Federal Minister for Primary Industries, Energy, Transport and Communications, Trade and Overseas Development between 1983 to 1993. He was also our Treasurer for a short time.   

After his political career, he continued to serve rural communities through his involvement in many boards and committees and he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Australian Parliament in 2001.  

Andrew Leigh MP said last week “John Kerin wasn’t just a terrific minister – he also stayed engaged in policy debates right up to the end.” 

We were so proud to welcome John into the Foundation as an Honorary Fellow in 2013. He will be sadly missed by many.  

Program graduations and welcoming new alumni in the fold….. 

It was such a pleasure to attend the graduation of our latest TRAIL cohort in Canberra on March 15th and help welcome a new bunch of alumni to the network! There was a distinct buzz in the air as 15 excited participants – each proud of their individual achievement, and proud to belong to such a dynamic and cohesive group of emerging leaders.  The highlight of the evening, a panel discussion between five participants, each talking through their program experience provided valuable insight to all in the audience.   

We’ve also had two more Leading Australian Resilient Communities (LARC) cohorts complete their program and join our alumni network this month. Our Tassie cohort wound up their LARC program in late March, a program fabulously delivered by Ange Driver and her Tasmanian Leaders team.  Plus, our Charters Towers to Reef cohort finished up at the very end of March.  

A warm welcome to all those new alumni joining the network!  

Plans are also well under way as we work to bring together two representatives from each of the 10 LARC cohorts for a National LARC Alumni event in late July. This event aims to help create connections between each of the 10 regions through shared learnings.   

Drought Alumni – a little but important request… 

For those alumni who completed one of our programs funded by the Future Drought Fund – that is the Drought Resilient Leaders Development Programs (across 12 individual regions) and/or the National Mentoring Program, we have a little but important request of you.  

As a matter of process and to help us properly understand the impact of our programs, we reach out to all our alumni and ask them to reflect on their program experience, particularly once they are home and back into regular life again. And to so that, we send out alumni surveys via email.  

So, just a heads up that we will be sending all our Drought Alumni a survey in the next few weeks.  The survey will only take you about 15 mins to complete. It’s an easy, but extremely valuable way to support the work we do.   

We will reach out to you via email in the next few weeks.  A summary of the analysed data will also be made available to you once completed.   Many thanks in advance for your time.  

Regional Events  

Our regional events continue to roll out. Toowoomba was the place to be on March 23rd – with a boardroom luncheon and an alumni network gathering in the evening. Thanks to those alumni who made the effort to stay connected and attended these events. We are working hard to make our way across this country of ours and hope to host as many alumni gatherings as we can.  

We have alumni gatherings coming up in Perth and Kununurra on April 17th and 18th respectively.  Invites have been sent to locals but if you happen to be in WA at the same time (it is school holiday time), let us know and we can send you the details. Looking to lock events in soon for Sydney, Central Coast and Central West NSW. Plus events in South Australia and NT.  Stay tuned. 

If you’re keen to connect with your local alumni – we can help!  

If you’re keen for an event in your neck of the woods, let us know. We can reach out to all local alumni for you and try our best to get a staff member there too.  You don’t need to wait for us. We are happy to be nudged in your direction if you’re keen.  

Written by Julia Strang, Alumni Engagement Manager

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