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    2020 Business Leaders Group participants Back, from left, Cait Brennan, Michaela Del Castillo, Brendan McIntosh, Shannyn McGrice, Matthew Op de Coul, Nicole Sawyer, Justin Beugelaar, Vanessa Lantzakis, Luke Spasic, Cheree Johnson, Greg Munn and Mark Sulic. Front, Anna Greene, Bonnie Kelly, Steph Purcell, Daniel Fischer and Gemma Beavis.

Opportunity for emerging leaders program

Leadership Wimmera is preparing a reinvigorated community leadership program for 2021. 

Expressions of interest for the program opened last week and organisers say there is no better time to invest – in yourself and the community.

It comes after a challenging 2020 year. Leadership Wimmera quickly transitioned participants to online learning and ensured that supporting the development of emerging leaders continued during a vital period. 

Program manager Jessica Grimble said strong community leaders were vital, especially during a crisis.

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“And there is none more poignant than COVID-19,” she said.

“Participants in our 2021 program can equip themselves with the tools they and their communities need to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 – by rallying others, building resilience and with innovative thinking.” 

The 10-month Leadership Wimmera program offers blended and experiential learning opportunities.

Participants will put learned leadership fundamentals into practice through working on co-
designed community projects. 

The program weaves education about the region and regional priorities into program sessions and project development.

“Leadership Wimmera has a proven record for excellence in leadership development, and plans for 2021 take the program to the next level,” Ms Grimble said.

“Participants will learn more about themselves and their communities and from different perspectives. By investing in their own learning and development, they can become effective, impactful and innovative leaders.”

Learnings through Leadership Wimmera’s community leadership program continue following the initial 10-month program – with graduates becoming members of its Graduate Network and accessing opportunities that support lifelong learning.

These have included training in governance, communications and public speaking, and seminars on topics such as resilience, community leadership, engagement and change management throughout 2020. 

Wimmera Development Association oversees Leadership Wimmera, which started in 2002 and has supported the development of almost 600 emerging leaders in the Wimmera and southern Mallee.

It is one of nine community leadership programs across regional Victoria.

With support from Regional Leadership Australia, Leadership Wimmera and its sister programs collaborated to host learning opportunities such as a virtual Federal Parliament education session with ministers and key staffers last month.

The collaboration – which has grown during this year’s pandemic response – also opened opportunities to share ideas among executive officers and program managers and promote learning opportunities for the benefit of local programs.

• People wanting to register their interest for the 2021 Leadership Wimmera program can go to website

The entire October 14, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!