The Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program began in 1998 and arose from a consultation process to look at the future of the northern irrigation district following a leak in Torrumbarry Weir in the mid 1990’s.

Today we have more than 400 graduates involved in a diverse range of community leadership programs both within the region and beyond.

Each year approximately 25 participants from across the region embark on the experience of a lifetime to

  • build their skills and confidence;
  • hear about regional issues and innovative ideas for action;
  • meet leaders from all walks of life; expand their networks;
  • learn more about themselves and increasing their effectiveness; and
  • discover ways they can – as community leaders – make a difference in their community and industries they are passionate about.

The program runs between February and November each year and accepts up to 25 participants annually with the aim of reflecting the diversity of the communities living and working within our region.

Each of the 20+ program days is held in a different part of the region effectively showcasing rural communities, towns and major regional centres, as well as visits to Melbourne and Canberra.

This enables participants to travel across the region and beyond to experience first hand the vibrant communities, innovative projects and the individuals that drive them forward.

Through the program, participants are able to explore a wide range of issues that encompasses social, cultural, environmental, technological and economical aspects of our region; and continually develops and builds on their skills and knowledge, and ultimately their confidence as a community leader.

Within twelve months of their graduation participants are required to complete a community project and report on its outcomes.

Program objectives:

  • Develop creative, courageous, confident community leaders
  • Build on existing personal and community leadership skills
  • Increase awareness and understanding of regional issues, resources and networks
  • Establish a regional ‘leadership network’

Program structure:

Participants are required to attend 4 weekend workshops/retreats during the year and 2 program days per month where they will travel throughout the Loddon Murray region for workshops and program sessions, in small towns and larger centres.

During this time they will be exposed to the nature and needs of their rural communities and given training in public speaking, media skills, effective communication, working in groups, meeting procedures, etc.

A mix of learning styles and experiences to challenge thinking and mindsets, in information and skills based format is provided and participants are encouraged to explore their own learning and leadership styles, values and beliefs in a supportive environment.

Participants create and implement a community project during their program year to enable them to learn through action and leadership roles are experienced during the year through participants chairing sessions, facilitating activities, evaluation and reflection.

The program also includes ‘About Me’ sessions where participants share their stories with the group to increase understanding and appreciation of diversity and operates within a confidentiality policy, which enables open and honest discussions between presenters and group members.

It is expected that participants will utilise the information and skills gained during the year to benefit the Loddon Murray Region and the wider region in the future.

It is expected that participants will attend at least 80% of program sessions.

Program Outcomes:

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.  Personal Outcomes for program participants include:

  • Increased skills and confidence
  • Increased awareness of regional issues and innovative ideas
  • Increased tolerance and understanding of various community sectors
  • Access to an influential network of community leaders and resources across central/north-west Victoria

The outcomes of the leadership program more generally have been:

  • ongoing and/or increased leadership by participants in their community
  • new and expanded regional networking and cooperation
  • provision of forums for regional discussion through community open forums
  • raised awareness of the region’s value and importance to the economy
  • new community initiatives implemented by participants through the program and beyond