“Whenever I heard past participants raving about the program, I thought “It can’t be THAT good can it?” Well, it is.  Hearing people’s stories, directly from them has been a wonderful opportunity. At work I deal in facts and technical information. Connecting with people through conversation and their stories is inspiring me.  I have also developed an increased awareness of what’s happening in our communities. I guess other participants already heavily involved in community already know this, but it has been a revelation to me. Exposure to inspiring, dedicated people gives me hope for the future.”  Lisa Cox, Coliban Water, Bendigo.

“LMCLP appealed to me because of the opportunity to meet new people who cared about their communities and to share new ideas.  My expectations have been exceeded a hundred fold. Not only have I met new, dynamic and passionate people, but I have also been exposed to thought models and ideas that have been exhilarating.  The benefits of the program have included meeting people who are passionate about their communities, sharing new ideas, developing projects, contributing to the projects of others, new concepts in leadership theory, the list just goes on and on.  I now have a greater passion, greater commitment and a network of passionate people who can help me make my community a better place to live.”  Ric Raftis, web developer & mental health advocate, Wedderburn.

“I was inspired to join the program based on the enthusiastic comments from previous participants. The program appeared to have a lot of prestige as it visited State and Federal government.  I didn’t think I wanted to go down the normal leadership path, I felt the traditional management theory that I see at my work place wasn’t very inspiring and wouldn’t lead to new insights or any personal growth in a meaningful way. I wanted to be part of the solution rather than part of the problems. My small venture into community leadership gave me a feeling that ‘hey, I’m not too bad at this! I wonder if I could take this further?  My expectations were exceeded with a few session days. I loved the feeling of community and friendship as opposed to traditional ‘networking’. The people are all fantastic, and respectful, mature, open and honest. I’ve seen people overcome personal problems and use it as inspiration to learn and grow and achieve amazing things.  I’ve loved travelling around the region and seeing projects for real rather than just reading about them.  I’ve learnt to be more respectful of other cultures and we’ve explored some difficult subjects. I have been personally moved with emotions from people speaking and seeing how people less fortunate that us and how they live/service. In one day we went from seeing where homeless people try to hide at night time under a rail bridge in Melbourne, to the halls of power at Spring street. It was a surreal feeling to see both ends of the spectrum in a single day.  I have made new contacts with people who might be able to help my community projects, and a sense of a community project being a valid thing to do, and have the support of the government/ blessing. Having a full set of contacts of people who have done similar things that I want to do and success stories/ lessons learned has also been a great door-opener. Being able to have an organisation to fall back on means you don’t feel like you’re necessarily on your own.”  James O’Bryen, Bendigo Bank, Bendigo

“I applied for the leadership program because I wanted to grow my knowledge of myself and my community, then use it that to influence our future.  I expected to be challenged and learn things that I had little experience with. This and more have happened.  It is a fantastic network of participants. You hear so many stories and learn so many things. I have come away with a deeper sense of wanting to contribute in a meaningful way to my community. It one of the best things I’ve done.”  Jason Hensley, Mawsons, Cohuna.