Drought Resilience Leaders Program Latest News Media releases

Image of a wheat field in the Northern Wheatbelt area by Liz Brennan

Northern Wheatbelt locals wanted for Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program

15 October 2021
  • Live or work in the Northern Wheatbelt? Interested in participating in a unique leadership program?
  • Applications now open for Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program. Applications close 21 November 2021.
  • Open to anyone 18 years and over. All industry sectors welcome. No charge to participate.
  • Be part of national network of rural leaders, helping their communities to adapt and prepare for the future impacts of drought. Apply today.

The Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Drought Resilience Leaders Program is inviting  Northern Wheatbelt residents to become part of a national network of people equipped to meet future challenges and contribute to the growing resilience of our communities, by participating in the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program.

Western Australia’s Northern Wheatbelt, which includes communities between Southern Cross, Jurien Bay, Northampton and Dalwallinu, is one of 12 regions across Australia selected to take part in this fully-funded program. The program will run over 8 days in March and April 2022, and anyone 18 or over is encouraged to apply.

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) has been appointed by the Australian Government, along with key partners, to deliver the Future Drought Fund’s Drought Resilience Leaders Program – an initiative designed to strengthen the future of regional communities through capacity building and collaboration.

The Program is already underway in the Goulburn Valley region, with participants from Central West Queensland about to commence their first leadership development session. The program will be tailored to address the current and future challenges of the Northern Wheatbelt.

“The effects of drought can last for years and Australians who live and work in drought-impacted communities are the best people to help contribute to how we can strengthen our communities so that we can be even more prepared for the next drought,” said ARLF Chief Executive Matt Linnegar.

“Experiencing drought and how resilience is established in our regions differs for many of us, however, the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program will help to create leadership networks committed to further strengthening these agriculture-dependent communities.”

Elizabeth Brennan will lead the program in the Northern Wheatbelt and says the program offers a number of benefits that participants can take away from this unique experience.

“We often look to honing business skills and how we might be able to manage risk in a changing environment, but we don’t often stop to invest in ourselves and our personal resilience. The DRLP will bring together people from small Northern Wheatbelt communities with big ideas, invest in their leadership capacity and support them to build resilient communities – come rain, hail or shine,” said Elizabeth.

The Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program will be delivered over three sessions:

Session OneSelf-awareness, adaptive leadership, change theory, personal and community resilience3 days (in person)
Session TwoClimate science, problem solving, creativity, problem solving2 days (online)
Session ThreeScenario planning, influence, network leadership3 days (in person)

“A year ago, I was involved in facilitating a similar program for the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation in the South West and what amazed me was the types of ideas and projects that proactive, forward-thinking individuals from diverse communities came up with. What’s great about this program is that seed funding is available via the Community Extension Grants and this will help get these grassroots ideas off the ground!” added Elizabeth.

Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program participants also have the opportunity to apply for a Community Extension Grant on completion of the sessions

Applications for the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program close on 21 November 2021. To apply to participate, visit https://rural-leaders.org.au/programs/drought-resilience-leaders-program/  

Interested in learning more about drought resilience?

The ARLF is hosting an 8-part ‘lunch and learn’ webinar series which will explore what it takes to make Australian rural communities drought and climate change resilient and ready to take on the future. The first two sessions will be held on 26 October and 18 November 2021 at 12.00 pm AEDT. The series continues from 3 February 2022 and then on the second Thursday of each month. Participate in panel discussions with producers and industry professionals and learn from real-life case studies from across the country. Free of charge, the webinar series is open to all. Register your interest here.

About Drought Resilience Leaders 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 a 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.

To find out more visit: https://rural-leaders.org.au/our-programs/drought-resilience-leaders/

Media Contact:

For any interview requests with Matt Linnegar or Elizabeth Brennan, please contact Sonia Morris (Seftons) at sonia.morris@seftons.com.au or on 0421 672 162.

Towns that fall in the Northern Wheatbelt region include but are not limited to: Southern Cross, Merredin, Dowerin, Jurien Bay, Geraldton, Northampton, Morawa, Dalwallinu and Bencubbin.

About Elizabeth Brennan

Elizabeth has facilitated many community and agricultural development programs and fresh produce marketing strategies in the WA Wheatbelt region, across Australia and Papua New Guinea. She is the co-founder of agdots, a small consultancy seeking to create a big impact in the WA regions and agricultural industry. 

Elizabeth loves regional WA and has a number of leadership positions including Commissioner for the Agricultural Produce Commission, Non-Executive Director with ASX-listed Wide Open Agriculture, Board Director for the RRR Network, a mentor and chronic volunteer. Elizabeth is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and Fellow with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (FARLF). 

In 2014, Elizabeth was awarded Most Outstanding Emerging Leader at the inaugural Women in Australian Agribusiness 100 and in 2016 was awarded WA Young Achiever of the Year for her voluntary and community contributions.