‘Pushing the boundaries’ was the theme for the first program day of the 20th year of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program (LMCLP), and the day, held in the Loddon Shire, certainly lived up to the theme.

An early start saw the group meet up at the Ceramet Bridgewater Solar Plant to learn about all things renewable energy. The passion and commitment of people in this field is astounding, and the technology amazing. Chris Weir, President of the Bendigo Sustainability group spoke excitedly of the massive opportunities for our region, noting that in his view the opportunities for our region of renewable engergies “will be the second gold rush”. Darryn Hartnett, agribusiness and economic development officer with the Loddon Shire and Simon Maan, engineering manager at Ceramet also spoke with passion about the enormous potential of both the industry and the region.

The leadership group then made the short journey to the fantastic newly developed Inglewood Town Hall and Community Hub where they learnt from Murray Baud and Jill Burdett, both passionate and involved community and business locals,  about the journey a dedicated bunch from the town hall development group has been on together, to successfully obtain funding and complete the first phases of the project, a gem of a facility for the locals and the region.

Councillor Colleen Condliffe, a graduate of the LMCLP shared some inspiring insights and “pearls of wisdom” with the group about her personal leadership journey, and an amazing and diverse one it has been.

Then if the group hadn’t been challenged enough, they travelled to Kooyoora State Park to push their own personal boundaries with some abseiling at Melville caves. “What a picturesque treasure of a location to get to know ourselves and the rest of the group better,” said Louise Scott from Bendigo, with the highly professional and supportive new Central Victorian adventure company, Mirawara.

Each participant had different reflections on the days’ highlights and insights but there was one common thread:  “We all felt honoured and lucky to be a part of the day and the amazing opportunities we will share together in the coming 10 months of the program and beyond,” said participant Adam McKie from Mount Macedon.

(written by Louise Scott, DELWP sponsored Participant)