Looking for leaders

04 June 2015

Current MLA-sponsored Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) participant and Queensland cattle producer Jack Walker is encouraging fellow industry members to apply for the program's next course.

"It's a substantial time commitment but it really does open your eyes to how things work, be it in politics or corporate Australia right down to the social structures of rural communities," he said.

Course 23 will take place over multiple sessions across 50 days, from August 2016, to October 2017. Applications for course 23 close on 13 August. The participants will be announced in February 2016, and it will start in August 2016.

MLA sponsors one position in the 30 participant program, which kicks off with a national leadership development experience in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Jack, who operates a cattle enterprise at Theodore with his wife Mim, is just about to head off to Indonesia with course 21, having already attended sessions in the Kimberley, Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. His final course commitment will be in Wagga Wagga, NSW, later this year when he will present the results of a group project, which in his case has been about developing the ARLP alumni network to build the social license of rural Australia.

To date, Jack said ARLP has taught him:

  • Social awareness: "I’ve had my eyes opened to some of the more challenging facets of our society.  To understand before judging is important.”
  • How to be a leader: "It's not necessarily the person standing up the front of the room doing all the talking. Effective leadership comes in many forms."
  • About other industries: "ARLP participants are from a diverse range of backgrounds and interest areas and the beef industry is not alone in many of the challenges it faces. Every sector has its issues and we can learn a lot from how others have dealt with them”.
  • The value of networking: "It's talking over a beer at the end of the day when you learn a lot. It creates connections which are valuable."

ARLP Foundation CEO Matt Linnegar remembered his own experience beginning the ARLP in the Kimberley back in 2000.

“The whole program is carefully designed to provide a breadth of experiences and contexts to help our leaders become even more focused and effective,” Matt said.

“It is very important that our session settings are a mix of rural, regional, remote, urban and, of course, international. The Kimberley is a special setting that makes a lasting impact on our ARLP leaders.”

Apply for course 23 of ARLP

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