A podcast like no other.

Real stories of leadership from rural, regional and remote Australia.

Tune in as we unearth stories from people passionate about building stronger industries and communities outside our city limits. Come with us as we dive into the ingredients for effective leadership, whatever the challenges you face, wherever you live or work.

Hosted by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

About our podcast

Step into the heart of rural, regional, and remote Australia with Rural Leadership Unearthed, the podcast that unveils the hidden gems of leadership beyond the city limits.

Join us as we take a journey through real stories of individuals dedicated to strengthening industries and communities in the heartland.

In an engaging interview format, discover the essential ingredients of effective leadership, no matter the obstacles you encounter or the location you call home.

Join us as we unearth the untold stories of leadership that inspire and empower change.

Where to listen

Artwork for episode 7 of Rural Leadership Unearthed podcast called Keeping the fire burning

Episode 7

Keeping the fire burning

In this inspiring episode, Indigenous Midwife and Arrernte leader, Cherisse Buzzacott, shares her story of personal resilience and service to her community. She unpacks the ways systemic prejudice can compromise structures of care available to First Nations women and birthing people, and her determination not to accept what is broken, but to play a lead role in fixing it. 

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Episode 7: Keeping the fire burning

11 July 2024

In this inspiring episode, Indigenous Midwife and Arrernte leader, Cherisse Buzzacott, shares her story of personal resilience and service to her community. She unpacks the ways systemic prejudice can compromise structures of care available to First Nations women and birthing people, and her determination not to accept what is broken, but to play a lead role in fixing it.

Cherisse is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation’s Milparanga Leadership Program (2023). She has just returned from the first session of Course 31 of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, thanks to a scholarship from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation. Cherisse acknowledges the huge role of leadership development experiences in shaping her path in life.

Sitting down with our host, Claire Delahunty, Cherisse talks about her fulfilling role with the National NAIDOC Committee. This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is Keep the Fire Burning, which perfectly captures the spirit of activism and progress that lives in everything Cherisse stands for.

Some highlights:

  • Cherisse shares the remarkable progress of the Birthing on Country movement in Australia
  • How her most vulnerable personal experience has forged her determination as an advocate for birthing women
  • Reflections on the keys to healing her home community of Mparntwe, Alice Springs
  • How mindfully sharing leadership responsibilities can ensure all are supported; and all have a chance to speak
  • The ways leadership development programs have directly influenced some of her biggest life decisions

 

Our host:

Claire Delahunty, is a writer and journalist who has worked with the ARLF for more than ten years, interviewing leaders having a positive impact on rural and regional Australia.

Resources: 

⁠⁠⁠ARLF podcast blog⁠⁠⁠

⁠⁠⁠ARLF website

Tim Fairfax Family Foundation

NAIDOC Week 2024

Birth Time Documentary

Rodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Charitable Fund

If any of our episodes raise concerns for you, please reach out for support. Lifeline: call 13 11 14 | text 0477 13 11 14 | ⁠https://www.lifeline.org.au/

13YARN: call 13 92 76 | https://www.13yarn.org.au/

Episode 6

Bouncing back from the brink

In this thoroughly aquatic episode, Port Fairy abalone diver, founder and director of Fox Wild Abalone, Craig Fox, takes us inside the world of this unique wild harvest industry. Craig revisits one of the darkest times in his professional life, when a highly contagious outbreak of Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG) swept through the industry’s Western Zone.

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Episode 6: Bouncing back from the brink

13 June 2024

In this thoroughly aquatic episode, Port Fairy abalone diver, founder and director of Fox Wild Abalone, Craig Fox, takes us inside the world of this unique wild harvest industry. Craig revisits one of the darkest times in his professional life, when a highly contagious outbreak of Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG) swept through the industry’s Western Zone. He speaks about the devastating emotional and financial impact, and the collective leadership the fisheries sector showed to recover and rebuild. Craig is passionate about fostering the diversity needed for his industry to continue to flourish into the future.

The busy leader will also next year participate in the Australian Rural Leadership Program, thanks to a scholarship from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Sitting down with our host, Claire Delahunty, Craig talks about the perspective his work gives him on healthy ocean environments, and the importance of telling the story of Australia’s world-leading seafood industries. We hope you enjoy this episode, as we mark World Ocean Day 2024.

 

Some highlights:

  • Craig describes the power of leaders working together to recover after disaster
  • The value of shared knowledge and mentoring
  • The importance of young women making their mark on a male-dominated industry
  • A reminder to check country of origin labels on our seafood, and buy Australian
  • If you’ve ever wondered the best way to cook your abalone, Craig has the answer!

 

Our host:

Claire Delahunty, is a writer and journalist who has worked with the ARLF for more than ten years, interviewing leaders having a positive impact on rural and regional Australia.

 

Links:

ARLF podcast blog: https://rural-leaders.org.au/blog/

ARLF website: https://rural-leaders.org.au/

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation: https://www.frdc.com.au/

World Ocean Day 2024: https://worldoceanday.org/

Fox Wild Abalone Instagram: @foxwildabalone

Abalone diver, Craig Fox_Port Fairy Winter Weekends

Abalone and Fox – A match made in heaven: https://www.victorianseafood.com.au/the-people/abalone-and-fox-a-match-made-in-heaven

 

If any of our episodes raise concerns for you, please reach out for support.

Lifeline: call 13 11 14 | text 0477 13 11 14 | https://www.lifeline.org.au/

Graphic cover image for episode 5 of Rural Leadership Unearthed podcast titled Healing Self to Heal Others

Episode 5

Healing self to heal others

In this generous episode Indigenous leader, Bernice Hookey, shares her passion for disrupting the harmful cycles that exist around intergenerational trauma. She offers insight into her own journey of healing, and how it has led to her passion for fostering and supporting leadership through her amazing work with First Nations women.

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Episode 5: Healing self to heal others

9 May 2024

In this generous episode Indigenous leader, Bernice Hookey, shares her passion for disrupting the harmful cycles that exist around intergenerational trauma. She offers insight into her own journey of healing, and how it has led to her passion for fostering and supporting leadership through her amazing work with First Nations women.

Bernice was also sponsored by the National Indigenous Australians Agency to take part in course 29 of the Australian Rural Leadership Program in 2022. Sitting down with our host, Claire Delahunty, she describes how grief and darkness led her to a stronger connection with the importance of love and humanity in leadership. She also stresses how essential it is to be open to “everyday learning” and not to be complacent about bias, prejudice, discrimination and racism.

Highlights:  

  • Bernice shares her connection to Culture, Country and the vital role of Elders
  • The power of keeping a diary and writing to reflect on your life
  • Leaning in to “growing through what we’re going through”
  • The role we can all play in sharing the responsibility for reconciliation
  • How her business ‘positively disrupts’ social conditioning to create positive ripples for the next generation

If any of this content raises concerns for you, please reach out for support from the following resources: 
Lifeline: 13 11 14 
1800 Respect: 1800 737 732
13 Yarn: 13 92 76
  •  

 Resources:

Rural Leadership Unearthed podcast episode 4 - To be saved by a stranger

Episode 4

To be saved by a stranger

In this raw episode, double organ transplant recipient and Herd of Hope founder, Megan McLoughlin takes us through the grief of receiving an extraordinary gift from a stranger, and her path to purpose and peace.

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Episode 4: To be saved by a stranger

11 April 2024

In this raw episode, double organ transplant recipient and Herd of Hope founder, Megan McLoughlin takes us through the grief of receiving an extraordinary gift from a stranger, and her path to purpose and peace.

Megan describes the experience of managing juvenile diabetes growing up in rural South Australia; losing most of her sight at the age of 26 and the joy and freedom she finds in barrel racing.

Megan undertook a mentorship through the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation’s National Mentoring Program in 2023 – a process which helped her realise she did not have to “prove” to the world that her life was worthy of saving.

Sitting down with our host, Claire Delahunty, she reflects on her journey to embrace her intrinsic value, and the inspiration she has taken from the humble herd animals she has spent her life around.

 

Highlights:  

  • Megan talks about the challenges of managing a chronic health problem in rural Australia
  • How to be an advocate and raise awareness
  • The complexity of receiving a life-saving gift from a stranger
  • What we can all do to reframe the problematic label of ‘disability’
  • Why we need our ‘herd’ around us, more than ever

         

        Resources:
        Rural Leadership Unearthed podcast episode title Reframing how we think about farming

        Episode 3

        Reframing how we think about farming

        Oli Le Lievre is the founder of the hugely successful Humans of Agriculture podcast and media business. From suburban Sydney to a career in agriculture, Oli has let his curiosity and passion guide him to the frontline of reshaping the narrative about farming.

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        Episode 3: Reframing how we think about farming

        21 March 2024

        Oli Le Lievre is the founder of the hugely successful Humans of Agriculture podcast and media business. From suburban Sydney to a career in agriculture, Oli has let his curiosity and passion guide him to the frontline of reshaping the narrative about farming.

        Having experienced a range of roles on the land in Australia and overseas, and within the agri-corporate world, Oli has faced-down doubt and inner conflict to start a remarkable movement. It all centres around his conviction that stories are the key to reconnecting people with where food and fibre comes from. 

        Oli sits down with our host, Claire Delahunty, and shares his passion for shaping a positive conversation that we can all be a part of. 

         

        Highlights:  

        • Oli talks about how essential it is to be a part of the ‘conversation’ if you want to have input
        • The realisation that age is no barrier to having something to offer
        • How leading with a negative is not the way to engage someone or inspire change
        • And taking comfort in the knowledge that fear is something every leader has grappled with at some stage, but if we’re willing to give it a go, it can be hugely rewarding 
         
        Resources:
         
        Listen to the Humans of Agriculture Podcast on – Spotify or Apple podcasts
        Find out more about the Australian Rural Leadership Program
        Episode 2 - The Art of Vulnerable Leadership

        Episode 2

        The Art of Vulnerable Leadership

        In this revealing episode, writer/creative practitioner/community advocate/youth mentor/Australian Rural Leadership Foundation alum Alysha Herrmann shares her journey of authentic and vulnerable leadership 

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        Episode 2: The Art of Vulnerable Leadership 

        8 February 2024

        With family roots entrenched in the wool industry, Alysha’s life began with constant movement and a deep connection to rural communities. Facing adversity in her teen years, she made the bold decision to leave her family and school at just 15. The transformative experience of motherhood at 17 propelled her to pursue further education, and her inner creative, that reshaped her future.  

        Sitting down with ARLF’s Vivienne Johnson, Alysha shares her evolution from a rebellious, arts-averse teenager to a prominent figure in the regional arts sector. 

        Highlights:  

        • Alysha discusses the transformative impact of the creative industry on an individual, and the community.   
        • How it creates more opportunities for regional creatives to be heard in their own communities and further afield.  
        • The importance of diverse voices and inclusive approaches in decision making. 
        • And embracing vulnerability as a strength in leadership. 

        Resources:
        Episode 1. Leading our regions through disaster

        Episode 1

        Leading our regions through disaster. And how it doesn’t have to be complicated.

        In our first ever episode of the Rural Leadership Unearthed podcast, we sit down with Steve Tinker, a leader whose approach is as straightforward as it gets, even in the complex world of telecommunications. Discover how empathy guides him on the worst days, the influence of emergency leaders on his journey, and the contagious optimism of locals in times of disaster. Plus, Steve shares two unexpected yet practical disaster preparedness tips and more. As a longtime supporter of the ARLF, Telstra takes the spotlight in this episode, showcasing their commitment to positive impact across rural and remote Australia.

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        Episode 1: Leading our regions through disaster. And how it doesn’t have to be complicated. 

        11 January 2024

        Steve Tinker heads Telstra’s operations in Northern and Western Victoria and he’s part of Telstra’s Response Team. Over 30 years in the job, he’s led Telstra’s customer response, and support for impacted communities through some of the worst natural disasters we’ve seen. With our regions experiencing a cyclone, floods and fires in recent weeks, Steve and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation’s chief executive Matt Linnegar discuss the challenges, and rewards, of leadership during disasters. And Telstra’s boost in disaster support across the regions.

        Episode sponsored by Telstra 

        As one of ARLF’s longest supporters in delivering leadership for positive impact across regional, rural and remote Australia, we’re thrilled be featuring Telstra in the first episode of the Rural Leadership Unearthed podcast. To find out more about Telstra’s partnership and impact across our regions through its support and ARLF alumni, head to the links below.

        Resources:

        ARLF Telstra case study blog

        Telstra’s Disaster Response campaign

        Consumer specific

        Business specific

        How to prepare

        Telstra’s dedicated assistance line: 1800 888 888

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