What we do
Our leadership programs and services support people in all stages of their leadership journey. From community volunteers to primary producers, artists and managers, we focus on providing a learning experience in line with the diversity found in rural, regional and remote Australia.
National leadership programs
Our core national leadership programs focus on different stages of leadership, sectors and First Nations communities. They are delivered in context of change in rural, regional and remote Australia, often driven by unforeseen crises, technological transformation or geopolitical shifts. Each program develops the behavioural and social intelligence of its participants and those they serve. Participants in these programs can be self-funded, but are usually supported by a wide range of government, philanthropic and industry partners.
The Australian Rural Leadership Program is our flagship program. It has run annually since 1993 and is open to a diverse group of around 30 people from across rural and regional Australia each year. It runs 15 months in four intensive sessions plus online engagement and mentoring. The first session is in a remote location where participants are set solo and group challenges. They emerge with a better understanding of themselves and the impact their behaviour has on others, and a chance to connect with Country and First Nations custodians. Two other sessions are in other parts of Australia, where participants engage with leaders from government, business and community. One session is overseas, providing a unique insight into how another country is managing critical issues. Participant selection is competitive and funded through industry, government or philanthropic scholarships. Each scholarship is matched with an applicant aligning with the sponsor’s industry, sector or purpose.
Milparanga is our growing suite of First Nations leadership programs, with two programs forming the entry points. One for people in the early stages of leadership and one for established leaders. Each is an eight-day course that allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants to engage in robust conversations that honour existing skills and knowledge, as well as provoke thoughts, all within a supportive space. Milparanga Emerging participants hear stories from Indigenous leaders, visit culturally significant sites and undertake outdoor and other activities that test their self-awareness and ability to communicate. Milparanga Established participants network with other First Nations leaders from across Australia, hear a range of speakers with different perspectives on leadership, and put their skills and awareness of culture, gender, politics, social and environmental systems, and history into decision-making and action.
The Australian Agribusiness Leadership Program is a bespoke, 11-day leadership development program for agribusiness leaders. It focuses on fostering individual and collective behavioural change helpful to an adaptive leadership style. Participants are challenged to respond to complex real-world scenarios facing the sector. As a result, participants develop greater self-awareness and establish trust with others. Participants develop inter-organisational connections, and strengthen a network of leaders from across the sector. Places on the program are purchased by an agribusiness organisation, though participants can also be self-funded.
TRAIL Emerging Leaders Program is a cross-sector, seven-day leadership program for Australia’s emerging rural leaders. It develops their leadership skills and connects them with a network of peers and role models. It includes a four-day outdoor experience, along with numerous workshops and panel sessions. Participants become more self-aware through experiential and challenged-based learning and psychometric assessment. They deconstruct complex situations and assumptions through exposure to topical issues for rural, regional, and remote Australia. They build awareness of ethics, values, social responsibility, negotiation, communication, and critical thinking. Applicants come from diverse backgrounds and are self-funded or sponsored by employers or industry bodies.
Place-based leadership programs
We have a growing portfolio of regional place-based programs. The aim of this work is to generate and support networks of people at a local level who can lead, inspire and navigate change within their regional communities. In doing this, the we’re acutely aware
that its approach must value and involve local intelligence, strategic relationships, trust, flexibility, coordination and shared governance in the design and delivery of the program. Our place-based work is a collaboration with organisations that have shared values and a commitment to leadership in rural, regional and remote Australia.
Regenerate Regional Leadership enables people from bushfire-impacted regions to revive and reinvigorate their
communities. It encourages them to identify their community’s capacity to cope with disasters and figure out where it might need help. Participants learn how leadership plays a critical role in the process of building long-term community resilience and shared responsibility. These programs have been funded by the Australian Government supported by a various delivery partners.
The Leading Australian Resilient Communities program is designed to enhance the inherent strengths in regional communities, with a focus on groups and individuals who are committed and invested in where they live and work.We have partnered with the Regional Australia Institute, the Australian Resilience Centre and state based leadership organisations to deliver in ten regions across Australia. As well as compelling, immediate benefits for regional leaders, the program builds a foundation for solid practices that will enable regions to best plan for their futures. This program has been funded by the Australian Government, Building Resilient Regional Leaders Initiative.
Our leadership philosophy
Increase your social impact and foster leadership beyond the title.
Become a funding partner or commission a program for your organisation, industry or community. Build leadership capacity beyond self and trusted values-based networks – one participant and program at a time. Whether it’s for social impact, market reach or to respond to current challenges and opportunities within your region, industry or organisation, your partnership results in collective impact.
Our team will reach out for a confidential conversation.
Our partners and supporters
True to our values, we believe that together we’re better than the sum of our parts. Our diverse portfolio of partners includes philanthrophy, corporate, industry and government. They give us the means to drive change and share our vision for a thriving rural, regional, and remote Australia. If you like what we do and think we’d work well together, we’d love to hear from you.
The Leadership Network
Great Southern Development Corporation
Our associate network
Our network of associates share our values and are uniquely skilled in developing and delivering leadership programs and initiatives to manage change in rural, regional and remote Australia. Helping with program design, delivery and facilitation, associates either work as part of our team or deliver a program end to end. The associate network allows us to consistently deliver high-quality programs all over the country, as well as offering industry-specific or tailored leadership development programs on demand. Becoming an associate is exclusively by invitation only following an expression of interest or nomination by a team member or fellow associate. While associates are often alumni from our programs this is not a requirement.