What’s new in the alumni network this March?

As we continue to deliver the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative Changemaker Workshops across many regions, we are hosting alumni events where we can.  We have had gatherings in Finley (Southern NSW) and Dookie (Central VIC), as well as in the Shoalhaven and Bega Valley regions of NSW. Gemma Rostron from our team also connected with alumni in Esperance as part of her promotional road trip through regional WA in early February.  

Another gathering took advantage of alumni who travelled to Perth to attend EvokeAG 2024. We were thrilled to see 23 attendees at our brekkie catch up. And to quote WA based fellow and associate Liz Brennan, it was a ‘ripper of an event’. Many thanks to our Corporate Services Director Lockie McDonald for hosting.    

And, we had the pleasure of connecting alumni and our Chief Executive Matt Linnegar with the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Group at a dinner in Canberra earlier this month.  The international group were mostly graduates of their flagship leadership program over the last 25 years. Fellow Ron Paynter was the group’s Australian connection and guide, and we were so grateful that he ensured our two organisations connected. Thanks so much Ron!

We were thrilled to see an alumni event in Townsville too. Fellow Bernice Hookey, keen to connect with alumni in her region, was the main driver. We were able to support her enthusiasm by reaching out to local alum and coordinating RSVP’s for her, and then Bernice was the host on the night. 

If you are feeling inspired and keen to connect with those in your local region, we can help. We can’t be everywhere, so we love it when alumni champions drive local connections – with a little help and support from us. Reach out if this sounds like you.

To all of you who attended an event this month, thanks for choosing to stay connected with us and each other. 

ARLF alumni catchup during the Finely Changemaker Workshop

Attending Beef Week or the Thriving Women's Conference?

Knowing that there will be a quite a few alum attending Beef Week in Rockhampton in early May, and the Thriving Women’s Conference in Adelaide in mid-August, we would love to know if you are planning to go.

Just let us know so we can connect you with other alumni while you are there. Send us an email and we’ll pass on more information.

Shout out to alumni in the news

Check out the work of Megan McLoughlin, recent graduate of the National Mentoring Program under the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative. You can read about her journey as a recipient of the 2023 ABC Regional Storyteller Scholar, and watch her TV production, Real Ability.  This covers her journey, as someone with a vision impairment, to train for and compete in the speed sport of barrel racing at a country rodeo.

Vale Bruce Simpson and Dr Peter O'Brien

We have recently been touched by sadness with the loss of two members of the network in the last month – fellow Bruce Simpson and former board member Dr Peter O’Brien.   

Bruce Simpson, ARLP 7, passed away suddenly leading to a flurry of memories shared amongst his cohort. He has been described as a highly respected figure in regional agriculture, who was deeply committed to the prosperity and sustainability of regional communities.  He also was selfless, passionate and kind, with a big laugh. Our Chief Executive Matt Linnegar, also ARLP 7, knew Bruce well and will share a tribute in his update next month. 

Dr Peter O’Brien was a board member between 2007 and 2010. He was an experienced public sector chief executive who was highly regarded as an independent, experienced and compassionate leader.  Beyond his professional achievements, Peter was known for his acute intellect, kindness, mentorship, and unwavering commitment to provide outstanding leadership.  He was a scientist by training and always passionate about fostering the leadership needs of rural Australia during his career.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of Bruce Simpson and Dr Peter O’Brien.

Vale C7 Bruce Simpson and past ARLF board member Peter O'Brien

Upcoming events

Virtual catchups 

  • Milparanga Established Leadership Program 2022, Wednesday 13 March, 3.00pm
  • Milparanga Emerging Leadership Program 2022, Wednesday 20 March, 3:00pm
  • ARLP C11, Wednesday 27 March, 3.00pm
  • TRAIL 15 (2023), Wednesday 17 April, 7:00pm
  • Regenerate Snowy Valleys 2022, Wednesday 10 April, 3:00pm
In person catchups
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