What our learning managers are looking forward to in 2023 

2023 is shaping up to be another big year of leadership program delivery across Australia. We asked our Learning Managers’ what they were most looking forward to as the new year commences.  

Andrew Bryant (Leading Australian Resilient Communities Program)  

In the first half of 2023, we’ll be completing the roll out of the LARC Program across ten regions in Australia, working with state partners Leadership Victoria, Tasmanian Leaders, Leadership WA, Leaders Institute of South Australia and our national partners the Regional Australia Institute and the Australian Resilience Centre. What I’m most looking forward to is our national gathering of 20 LARC alumni in Canberra – two from each of the ten regions – to connect the cohorts and build a national network of regional leaders who can share experiences, challenges and opportunities from across their diverse communities. 

Penny Gladwin (ARLP Course 29) 

I am excited to be working with cohort 29 this year as they complete their final two sessions in March and September. 

In Session 3 in March, they’ll travel to Aotearoa NZ after gathering in Sydney with their significant others who’ll join the program for 24 hours for a range of learning experiences to gain insights to further understand the ARLP.   

In between the in-person sessions, participants will continue to work in small groups on their Community Action Initiative with Simon Banks. Simon continues his workshops this year focusing on creativity, innovation, and design thinking to look at adaptive challenges differently.   

The cohort will also have an opportunity to connect with the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme in February as part of a forum for network engagement, building connections and sharing ideas. 

Simone Carroll-Germach (ARLP Course 30 and TRAIL Emerging Leaders Program) 

I am really looking forward to the wide range of diversity that I am experiencing in my workload as a Program Manager and facilitator with the ARLF, both in terms of the participants that I will get to meet, the locations I will travel to and the different design concepts in each of the programs.  

I am excited to be working on the design of the TRAIL Emerging Leaders program which will be delivered in March. I also will be facilitating on this 7-day program with Outward Bound Australia.  For me, it is returning to a place that feels like my old backyard as I worked at Outward Bound for 8 years many moons ago.  

I am then finalising the design of the new look ARLP Course 30 Session 1: Discovery and Awareness. I am really enjoying working alongside our partners Valley Outdoors and Dijiriba Waagura to bring to life a dynamic learning experience for our cohort.  

Finally, I am working on the design of phase 2 offerings for the Future Drought Fund programs which include the Emerging Leaders Program and the Community Leadership Program. 

Grant Cameron (Milparanga Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Programs 

I have a busy year ahead working across the Milparanga programs, Regenerate Eurobodalla and Capital Region, and assisting Penny and Simone in the new design of ARLP Course 30 working with other First Nations Yuin Mob from the South Coast of NSW and adding a cultural lens to the learning design. I am excited to start the year with the inaugural Milparanga International Cross Cultural Leadership Development program in Aotearoa New Zealand, connecting with Māori people to share in different aspects of journeys towards decolonisation, reindigenisation and First Nations Leadership at a Global level. 

I will then be delivering the Milparanga Established Leadership Development Program in Albany WA with the Noongar people, sharing First Nations knowledge and culture and developing stronger and more confident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders from across the country.  

On a personal note, I am looking forward to continuing with lifelong learning and looking at ways of how I can improve and educate myself to create better outcomes for the cohorts I engage with on program. I also plan to take time out when needed and not allow myself to get burnt out. Self-awareness and self-care are a priority in my personal journey to achieve excellence. 

Catherine McGufficke – Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative Project Lead  

2023 is an exciting time that will see the ARLF extend our work supporting communities to prepare for future droughts. We will continue our work in partnership with FRRR to deliver the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative which strengthens and improves rural communities’ ability to adapt or transform in response to changing temperatures and seasons and increased rainfall variability.  

Our work will see us delivering an enhanced mentoring program, leadership development activities in 35 regions, and establishing a dedicated network for people in these regions to connect across Australia to learn from one another about what works in one another’s communities.  

The exciting thing about the combined work of ARLF and FRRR for this program is that it invests in people and projects over a number of years, strengthening community and support networks for improved social wellbeing.  

This is the biggest program that the ARLF has undertaken in terms of the number of places and people, and we will be extending our work into new areas (see what we are offering to the 35 regions). This delivers on our goal for the ARLF to deliver more programs, in more places, for more people. 

I am most looking forward to working with such a wide range of communities and hearing what they need to support their communities. I am really excited to see the Learning Network established across Australia, creating opportunities for people who are passionate about driving change in their communities to learn from one another. 

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