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A night to remember – 25th Anniversary Celebrations

25 October 2017

Last week we held our 25th Anniversary Celebrations in Canberra.  These celebrations provided us with an opportunity to reflect on past achievements, acknowledge outstanding contributions and celebrate the ongoing impact of the organisation.

We were thrilled with the support from our sponsors, alumni and partners, with almost 800 attendees across the various events. The events consisted of:

The Gala Dinner was the pinnacle of our celebrations and was a night of reconnecting, re-immersion and reflection. We are delighted to hear how much attendees enjoyed the night.

On the night, our Board bestowed Honorary Fellowships on three individuals who have provided meritorious service to the Foundation, their community and industry. The recipients were:

  • Marion Dolby, a Gooniyandi woman from the Galeru Community – integral to the Kimberley session of the ARLP and has been involved in the program from the start.
  • Rosemary Nugget, a Gooniyandi woman from the Mimbi Community – integral to the Kimberley session of the ARLP and has been involved in the program from the start.
  • Patrick Hone, Executive Director of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation – a strong supporter of leadership development and is dedicated to the greater good of rural, regional and remote Australia.


Unfortunately, some of our supporters were unable to make the events. We would like to share their messages with you:

“Congratulations on reaching the milestone of 25 successful years of the Foundation and the Program.

This celebration might have seemed a long shot to many when we launched in 1992. But the vision was sound and over the last quarter of a century many dedicated staff, directors, graduates and forward-thinking sponsors have helped realise it .

I would like to acknowledge and thank them all.

In particular, I would like to pay tribute to the contributions made in the early years by the staff John Quantrill and Liz Young, Chairman John Allwright, and RIRDC’s Keith Hyde, Bruce Gowrie-Smith and Snow Barlow.  Without them, you wouldn’t be here.

Leadership is a tough call – today, perhaps more so than any time in the past.  I reckon your leadership is going to be measured by what you leave for future generations.

I’m sorry that I am not here to celebrate with you but thanks for the opportunity to send this message.

By the way, I am looking forward to the 50th in 2042!”

Mike Beckingham, the founding Executive Director of the Foundation.

“As a founding partner of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, RIRDC (now AgriFutures Australia) were determined to deliver solutions to influence change across Australian rural industries and rural communities.

We identified the distinct need to have well-trained and confident leaders in industry and community to help to facilitate change, and so, along with other key stakeholders, the Australian Rural Leadership Program was launched.

We are very proud of the ongoing achievements of the ARLF that has grown our commitment from initial seed funding, through to now sponsoring one place for every single course, taking our investment to well over $1 million.

We congratulate you on this significant milestone of delivery to rural industries across Australia and we look forward to continued collaboration in the interests of advancing agriculture and building capacity within our rural communities.”

John Harvey, Managing Director and Kay Hull AM, Chair of AgriFutures.

Thank you

We would like to thank all those who contributed to making the event such a memorable occasion, especially our sponsors:

Elders – Major 25th Celebration Partner  
Grains Research and Development Corporation – Gala Dinner Platinum Partner  
Westpac – Gala Dinner Silver Partner  
Torres Strait Regional Authority – Gala Dinner Bronze Partner  
Prime Super – Cocktail Event Platinum Partner  
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development – Regional Australia Leadership Assembly Sponsor  
CBH Group – Regional Australia Leadership Assembly Sponsor

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