17 March 2022

COMMUNITY leadership programs across rural and regional Victoria have welcomed the announcement of Victorian Government funding today.

Nine programs and state peak body the Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs Secretariat Inc, trading as Regional Leadership, will receive a collective $1.81-million to support the development of emerging leaders throughout 2022.

Regional Development Minister Mary-Anne Thomas announced the funding in Maryborough. Regional Leadership Chair Jennifer Cromarty said the funding would support the leadership skills development of more than 200 people this year alone.

“These community leadership programs have been an important component of building leadership capacity in our rural and regional communities – in some cases for two decades,” Ms Cromarty said.

“With the support of the Victorian Government and Regional Development Victoria, leadership development is afforded to participants at subsidised rates – promoting equitable opportunity and boosting accessibility. Many programs also have specific scholarships in place to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation, not-for-profit organisations and for those who have barriers to participation or require other supports.”

The programs are: Alpine Valleys Community Leadership, Future Shapers Ballarat, Gippsland Community Leadership Program, Goulburn Murray Community Leadership, Leaders for Geelong, Lead Loddon Murray, Leadership Great South Coast, Leadership Wimmera and Northern Mallee Leaders.

More than 200 people participate in the programs each year, engaging with community and generating significant in-kind support. The programs and Regional Leadership employ more than 20 people. There are more than 4000 Alumni statewide.

“The outcomes for participants can include building community networks, knowledge and personal resilience; to driving opportunity in leadership positions, promotions and board positions. A key outcome is to ensure that regional and rural areas build capability in their people to continue serving and growing strong, resilient and caring communities,” Ms Cromarty said. “Regional Leadership thanks Minister Thomas and the Andrews Labor Government for today’s announcement and welcome the ongoing relationship and support.”

Regional Leadership was established in 2012 to support regional communities to develop leaders in and for rural, remote and regional locations. For more information, go to www.rla.org.au

Media inquiries: Jessica Grimble, Regional Leadership Executive Officer, on 0400 836 483.