Alumni stories

Sam Archer joins ARLF

18 November 2020

When I stepped off the plane at Kununurra to start ARLP Course 22 little did I realise what lay ahead. At the time I was managing the family farm, heavily involved in agri-politics, sat on several boards and felt very important. I was also busy being busy, unfit, overweight and out of touch with how miserable and incongruent my life had become.

Then the Kimberley and experiential learning wove its magic! Time on country, sitting in the dirt, under the stars, challenged and supported by my group “Team Phoenix”, knocked me off my axis and set me on a different trajectory.

Since then I’ve sold the farm, agri-politics is a thing of the past and my only board role is Chair of the Castlemaine Circus School. During this time, my constant companions have been fear and courage, shame and acceptance, loss and joy.

Now, five years later I’m back in Canberra working in theatre for social change, as an outdoor experiential facilitator and with the Foundation on several initiatives. This includes reimagining and optimising the ARLP, which Matt mentioned above.

2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the ARLP. I am reaching out to you to gauge your interest in having a chat about what the ARLP might, and could look like, for the next 30 years. 

COVID-19 has significantly influenced the program’s design and delivery throughout 2020. Consequently, the Foundation has had to find creative ways to deliver the program using a mixture of online delivery and a regional hub model. This has also created a unique opportunity to revisit why, what and how we do what we do, and seeking input into optimising and reimaging the program.

Each year the program undergoes iterative change as part of ongoing improvement process. Every five years an in-depth assessment is undertaken, often leading to more substantial changes. In 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced the program’s design and delivery. This, consequently, presents an opportunity to consider all aspects of the program, and to optimise and reimagine ARLP’s delivery commencing in 2022. This will coincide with the program and Foundation’s 30th anniversary.

Some changes may be piloted in Course 28.

Feel free to get in contact with me at the ARLF office.