Frequently Asked Questions




What are the main benefits of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program?

There are many reasons why people are attracted to this program and they always gain far more than they ever anticipate.

LMCLP is designed to assist anyone involved in their local community, industry or region to improve their effectiveness in current roles and/or take on a leadership role.  You can expect to gain:

  • Increased skills and confidence.
  • Increased awareness of regional issues and innovative ideas.
  • Increased tolerance and understanding of various community sectors and individuals.
  • Access to an influential network of community leaders and resources across the region.

How will my employer / organisation benefit from my participation in the program?

  • Your organisation will align itself with the premier leadership development organisation in our region;
  • Our graduates develop a good understanding of what it takes to lead in a regional environment;
  • Our graduates improve their performance in effective communication, public speaking, team development, negotiation, community consultation, advocacy, productivity, grant seeking, governance, creativity and problem solving.
  • Our graduates develop their self-confidence and self-awareness, and are prepared to take on greater roles of responsibility in their workplace, industry and community;
  • Through access to our alumni network, partnerships and events, your organisation will align itself with a strong network of business, local, state and federal government leaders and senior managers.

Is LMCLP a Business Management Course?

No, the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program is just that… a Community leadership program.  Communities thrive with the input and collaboration of ‘Big ‘L’ leaders, and small ‘l’ leaders.  Our program acknowledges all levels of leadership and caters to both.  Some of our participants may be in official positions of leadership, and others will be doing leadership on the ground, although they may not yet identify themselves as leaders.  We specifically recruit for diversity and are strongly committed to broad representation from across sectors, age groups, world views and life experience, and from across the region. The diversity of the mix of our participants is one of the key strengths and learning opportunities of the program.  Exposure to the issues, presenters, skills and networks will enhance your business management skills if that is your field, but this is not our primary intention.  Communities need people of ‘all stripes’ to be better skilled, better networked and more self-aware in order to become more vibrant, inclusive, innovative and sustainable.  The flow on benefits of this to regional economies and healthy communities is significant.  This is our aim.

I don’t really consider myself to be a ‘leader’, should I apply?

Yes!  See above.

What issues and skills are covered as part of the program?

The program varies slightly from year to year but is based on current best practice in leadership development, and generally covers the following:


  • Community Development
  • Business & Industry
  • Agriculture
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Tourism & economic development
  • Rural Change
  • Youth & Education
  • Arts & Culture
  • Innovation
  • Social Justice
  • Politics
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Advocacy & influence
  • Natural Resource Management
  • National Leadership
  • Gender
  • Indigenous culture
  • Law & Justice
  • Media


  • Teamwork
  • Self Awareness
  • Public Speaking
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Utilising Media & social media
  • Governance
  • Grant Seeking
  • Project Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Leadership theories in practice
  • Critical Self-Reflection
  • Values & purpose
  • Self care


What is the time commitment?

The program year involves a total of 26 days over a ten-month period (February to November). Apart from the months with a study tour (Melbourne & Canberra), there will be on average two (and in a few cases three) program days per month. The opening, closing and mid-year weekend retreats plus Canberra and Melbourne Study Tours are compulsory. Participants are required to attend an 80% minimum of program days and complete all evaluation requirements (after every program day) and undertake a community project to graduate.

Program days generally run between 8.30am and 5.30pm, with travel time on top of this. Evening sessions are organised in conjunction with overnight stays.

Travel & accommodation?

Your accommodation costs are covered for overnight stays between program days (eg: retreats, study tours and two-day programs).  This involves shared accommodation (no sharing across genders) and sometimes fairly basic accommodation.

Travel costs are not covered and it is the participants’ responsibility to get themselves to the program day venues by the start time and they are required to stay until the conclusion of the program day. Combined with travel this can sometimes involve long days and it is recommended that participants car pool wherever possible and consider overnight accommodation prior to program days if they are far from your home.  Where individuals decide to travel up a night before the program to assist with the long days, it is their responsibility to cover any costs associated.  If you do not have access to your own transport, please let the program manager know and we will try to find a way to accommodate you.

Travel to and from Canberra and Melbourne is provided as part of program.

What time input is required between program days?

There is some time required between program days; this may involve some research on topics and speakers, completing the evaluation/reflection and other small leadership / group activities.

Participants will be involved in ‘Duty Teams’ 3 -4 times during the year.  This involves being part of a team of 4 participants whose responsibility it is to run the program days.  This includes confirming,introducing and thanking speakers, keeping sessions to time and other small tasks which will be briefed. On these occasions more work will be required between days.  This is considered an opportunity to enhance the learning/experience from the program.

Participants will also be required to complete a community project within 6 months of graduation.  Many participants commence these during their program year, which will also involve time outside of the program days.

Participants are also expected to volunteer for an end of year project team, selecting from:  yearbook committee, graduation committee, marketing committee and pay it forward committee.

How much does it cost?

There is a sliding scale of costs / opportunities, but all participants must pay a minimum of a non-refundable participant fee of $275 payable upon acceptance of offers.

  • Scholarship Recipient* (see below) – $275 (plus reporting expectations throughout the year)
  • Community Organisations, Volunteers & Self-funded individuals $1815 (including GST) (An upfront participant commitment fee of $275 will be deducted from this amount)
  • Corporate Organisations (employer sponsored; government / business) $3300 (including GST)
  • Employer sponsored individuals must also personally pay a participant commitment fee *$ 275 (including GST)

Your participation is valued at over $8000.  LMCLP operates solely on the generosity of sponsors.

No person should be prevented from applying to the program due to financial hardship. Fees can be negotiated and paid over a period of time. Assistance can also be provided to seek sponsorship if required.  Information about scholarships, below.

Who can apply?

Applications are encouraged from men and women over the age of 18 who have a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. The program strives for diversity through representation from the agriculture, business, government and community sectors.

Residents or workers in the shires of Buloke, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Gannawarra, Hepburn, Loddon, Mount Alexander, Macedon Ranges and Northern Grampians, or the cities of Bendigo and Swan Hill, are eligible to apply. No prior learning is required. We are seeking people who have a demonstrated commitment to their community, region or industry and a willingness to learn.

How can I apply?

See the ‘Apply’ section of our website where you will be able to follow a link to the online application form.

Email: [email protected] or telephone 0437 871 650 if you have any difficulties or questions.

Please note that your partner and employer/business partner (if applicable) are also required to sign the application addendum (see link on online application form) to ensure that they are aware of, and support, the commitments of the program.

Return your completed application addendum to PO Box 591, Castlemaine 3450 or email: [email protected] by 31 October to support and confirm your online application.

How do I apply for a Scholarship?

We have a number of scholarships available from year to year.  They are often attached to a particular geographical region, industry or other specific criteria such as supporting diversity or specific knowledge.

You do not apply for a particular scholarship.  Please note in your application if you would like to be considered for a scholarship, and whether your application is dependent upon receiving a scholarship.  Scholarships are assessed and allocated at the discretion of the CLLM Inc selection committee, after all applications have been received and processed, according to meeting of scholarship criteria, best fit and need.  You will find out whether you have been successful for a scholarship upon receipt of your offer, should you be successful.

A scholarship will cover the participation fee (participant must pay $275 commitment fee) for the participant and totally sponsor their activities throughout the program.  In return, scholarship recipients are asked to sign an agreement to provide written reports back to their sponsor and also to speak at sponsor functions if required.

What happens after the closing date?

Your application will be acknowledged by e-mail, reviewed and you may be invited to attend an interview.  The interview is a chance for you to find out more about the program as well as for our interview panel to determine your suitability for the program.   The interview is usually about 30-40 minutes. Up to 25 applicants will be sent a letter of acceptance in December. All documentation must be signed and returned with the participation fee by December 31 in order to retain the offered place.

What is meant by graduation?

LMCLP does not offer accredited training; however, it is considered a great honour and privilege to become a graduate of the program and part of an influential network of 430 graduates across central and north-west Victoria, and a state wide network of 10 regional community leadership programs.

LMCLP is highly regarded by many regional organisations and will be a respected addition to your curriculum vitae and your professional development record.

Graduate names are retained on a database and kept informed of additional opportunities for professional development and community investment.  In order to graduate, each participant must attend all the compulsory components of the program and achieve 80% attendance overall. A graduation ceremony is held at the completion of the program.

What support is offered during the program?

In addition to the support of the Program Manager, LMCLP will match each participant with a mentor, a graduate of the program, who can offer advice and act as a sounding board for ideas. Participants find that they also support each other during the program year.

What does the community project involve?

Participants are required to develop a community based project. This may be undertaken individually or as part of a group. It can be a new initiative or something in which you are currently involved. These

projects give participants the opportunity to engage with their communities and develop their skills. Support and guidance is provided to assist with choosing a community project throughout the program.  The aim of the project is to give participants the opportunity to get involved in their community and use some of the skills, information and networks developed during the program.  There is a requirement for you to write a brief project plan by June and do a presentation to a panel at the final weekend about your project.  In addition, at the completion of your project you will be required to write a 1 page case study about the project.

Do I need to be able to use the internet and other technology?

Yes, there is a requirement that all participants can gain access to the internet on a regular basis (even at the local library) between program days.  Email, group Facebook and an internet sharing site are used to evaluate the program, share information and update participants between program days.  We also use online resources to enrich the learning experience. Please do not let this stop you from applying. As long as you can get access to the internet and are willing to learn,  we can help.