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Well-rounded Riverina Case study for C22

23 February 2016

The fourth session of the 17-month Australian Rural Leadership Program, Course 22 took place across the New South Wales Western Riverina region from 13-19 February 2016.

The focus for this session of the leadership development program was on some of the many interwoven, complex facets of regional and rural leadership set against the context of one of Australia’s most outstanding agricultural areas.

27 leaders from right across Australia toured Wagga Wagga, Leeton and Griffith. The study tour incorporated a diversity of development experiences, including interaction with local leaders; health sector experts; Indigenous leaders; local government leaders and agricultural primary, secondary and tertiary industry sector leaders.

Interacting such a breadth of leaders had an immediate impact on Course 22 participants.

“Every time I’ve been exposed to these conversations I am reminded how distant my upbringing was in regards to Indigenous culture,” said Rhys Collins, who is General Manager of Sales for Sunpork Fresh Foods, sponsored on the program by Australian Pork Ltd.

“C22 participants also immersed themselves in leadership skills development workshops, which took a practical approach to honing negotiation and influence techniques, and leading in complexity,” ARLP facilitator, Graham Smith, said.

Course 22 participant Tammy Atkins, of Milawa, Victoria, received her ARLP scholarship from the William Buckland Foundation, and she said David Cromwell’s ‘Negotiation and Influence’ workshop was quite transformative to be involved in.

“This has been one of the best program sessions we’ve had,” Tammy said.

Leaders practiced the processes of positive influence within and beyond their group.

Participants also continued their Course 22 project work and preparation for future sessions, while continuing to develop team-building and relationships via program leadership roles.

ARLP case study sessions take place in a range of different regional centres, and this one benefitted from a high level of engagement with Australian Rural Leadership Foundation alumni. Representatives of Course 21, including Tracey Morris (Leeton Councillor) and Scott Hogan (Director Southern Cotton) and their colleagues played host to the latest crop of leaders.

“It’s been valuable to see regional Australia and community leadership in action” said Course 22’s Zoe Malone, who is sponsored on the program by the NT Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Mines.

Network dinners took place in Wagga Wagga, Leeton and Griffith, enabling other program graduates in the region to meet with Course 22 and share ideas and experiences.

Australian Rural Leadership Foundation CEO, Matt Linnegar spent time with Course 22, as did long-time Kimberley session facilitator and experienced leadership skills developer, Russell Fisher. Helpful contributions were also made to the program by Leeton Mayor Paul Maytom, Wagga Wagga Mayor Rod Kendal and Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Isobel Reid.

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation would like to thank the many Riverina enterprises that made the case study session so successful: including SunRice, McWilliams, Regional Development Australia, Southern Cotton, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Allied Health, LifeCare Remembrance Village, Charles Sturt University and the NSW Office of Department of Environment and Heritage.

Regional leadership forums were also included in the program:

1. Murray-Darling Basin Plan

2. Wiradjuri Nation perspectives

3. Regional Health and Aged Care