blogs on participants and alumni and their reflections
Participant Reflections 2016
blogs on participants and alumni and their reflections
I am Nishtha Goel, participant in the 2016 Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Program. I started the program in February and it has been an amazing journey. We were taught the importance of Storytelling in one of early program days, which has stuck with me.
On 13th September 2016, we had the Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs (VRCLP) combined program day which was attended by around 150 participants.
As I reflect on this day, I am surprised to see how I used the art of storytelling to make new connections even though it was not deliberate at all. I believe that people respond to stories with their emotions and it inspires them and they remember. It is also important to follow up with your new connection in the form of email or social media or other forms of communication for effective networking.
I am a Chartered Accountant, Certified Practising Accountant, and ex-Deloitte employee. I went on a career break in July 2015 due to many reasons, one of them being to get a clear view of my life and explore myself. Sounds funny but it is true. Before this time, I always wondered how people found the time and passion for community work. In August 2015, I joined a local community association and started advocating for local community issues e.g. roads, public transport, safety, schools etc. I also started organising events for the community like coffee and chats, moonlight cinema, fundraisers, etc. The biggest event was a multicultural festival. This event was attended by nearly 600 people and we got great feedback from the community.
Australia is a multicultural society, however there are a lot of issues that we deal with on daily basis e.g. domestic violence, mental health, homelessness etc. I strongly believe that there should be opportunities where we can celebrate together and be happy. An event that is inclusive of all, is cost friendly and attractive. That’s was my experience with the multicultural event, I organised. To this day people are asking me when will be the next one will be.
I feel privileged as I got a chance to connect with so many great leaders during the course of the day.
Jason Clarke-Speaker-Director, Minds at work: I cannot forget Jason. He is such a great speaker. And each and every word it seemed just resonated with my life experiences. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him over lunch.
Storytelling doesn’t have to be in full each time. With Jason, I used the first 2 lines of my story and there you go…Jason gave me his mobile number on his serviette and asked me to call him. Jason is my next phone call.
Luke Chilcott (Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program, participant): I met Luke during afternoon tea. Again after approximately a 3 minute conversation, where we shared our stories, I found out that Luke runs his own business in social media advertising. He listened to me and suggested that I should use my events management passion and work on growing this. He suggested that his leadership team (like every other leadership team) organises so many events that if there is an event to be organised his leadership team he could come to me for free consultation and that way our connection continues to foster. This connection will open doors for me to connect with people which could help me to pursue my passion in a more productive way. Wow… I am grateful to Luke about how you actually thought of and indeed offered to help me during that conversation.
Shane Tucker (Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program, Participant) and Paul McNamara (Leadership Great South Coast): I met Shane and Paul during Helga Svendsen’s session on practical advocacy. While working in our group, we told our story one by one. It was great to see how we opened up to each other and gave suggestions on each other’s issues. For me, apart from very good advice, I received insights and offers of a NFP Governance and performance study manual along with support on my next event which is a dinner fundraiser for beyondblue as mental health is a big issue and cause that Shane’s organisation supports.
Andrew Cameron (Leadership Great South Coast): Our storytelling to each other resulted in something common again. As part of their leadership program project, they are developing a mental health app and I am organising a fundraiser for beyondblue. We discussed our passion to make a difference in mental health.
There were so many more connections that I made, I could just keep writing.
It was great to see that each one of us is advocating for our community in one way or the other.
All these connections has made me more enthusiastic, motivated and passionate about the work that I am already doing whilst striving to achieve the best for my community.
Storytelling is a very important leadership tool. Stories are compelling as they allow us to express our real life experiences. It is a profound way to connect with people. I encourage you all to Try it…
Tuesday 13th –Thursday 15th September 2016
I return inspired yet weary following three action-packed days with 17 of my favourite people, when Leadership Great South Coast participants stormed Melbourne on a recent study tour. What a trip!
We began by joining participants from seven of the VRCLP member cohorts for a combined program day of presentations and networking.
Leigh Kennedy (Regional Development Victoria) and Kim Scanlon (Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program) instilled in us the imperative to get up and lead! With news of the new regional partnerships, there are opportunities to do just that at the upcoming Regional Assemblies.
Frank Kelloway and Dr Daniel Terrill from Deliotte presented their research on the benefits of living in the regions and potential barriers to regional prosperity or population growth. They highlighted both existing concerns and the new opportunities which exist for diversifying the regional economy, especially in tourism.
Jason Clark gave an entertaining account of modern working life. He broke down the creative barriers between the I, D, E and A types among us. That is, the dreamers and big sky thinkers (I), the developers (D) who sift, connect and relate these ideas, the process-driven evaluators and risk managers (E) and the doers, who act to get the task completed (A).
Helga Svendsen provided some practical tips to improve our networking and negotiation skills, and gave us an opportunity to put them into practice with others from around the state.
At the end of the day, we stopped in at the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), where Greg gave us his double CHAMP winning formulae. A good leader holds: Curiosity, Humility, Ability, Meaning and Passion. A good leader acts with Confidence, Humour, Action, Method and Performance. The AICD hold courses and provide a broad network for company directors.
After 8 years working for State Government, these were my initial thoughts of State Parliament:
Following a brief tour, Ray Purdey (Clerk of the Parliaments) explained to us the introduction of bills, and opportunities for submissions to parliamentary committees. We then met with the Hon. Bruce Atkinson (President of the Legislative Council) who has seen much change over his 24 years in Parliament. Bruce explained the role of the upper house, spoke on some current topics and reflected on his career, first joining Local Government because he could ‘do better’ than existing councillors. Bruce identified Angela Murkel (Chancellor of Germany) as the current leader he most respected.
Hon. Telmo Languiller (speaker of the legislative assembly) debriefed us following our question time experience, writing off much of the ‘interjections’ as a 600 year old tradition, though he did admit some of the things said would even be ‘inappropriate at the footy’.
After an insightful lunch with several of our State’s leaders, including Premier Daniel Andrews, we sat down with Tanya Waterson (Senior Advisor for James Purcell, Vote 1 Local Jobs) who gave some interesting insights into the power of a crossbench vote in a tight parliament, the challenges of being a two-person party, and some of the local issues on their radar.
It was a cultured and comparatively relaxed start to day 3, Dean Hampel (Localing tours) took us on an artistic tour of Melbourne, introducing us to both historic and unchanging open streets and boulevards, and the hidden surprises in the laneways at the heart of modern Melbourne. We stopped in on Janine at their ‘Work Club’ – a place for people to create and innovate. They have Tedx speakers present regularly as part of their Florence Guild.
Across the Yarra, we then met with Virginia Lovett (Executive Director, Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC)) who presented some key stats on the 63 year history of MTC. They offered 685 performances last year, with 230 550 paid attendances. Virginia spoke of three key challenges: translating the value of art in economic terms, dealing with comedians having tantrums, and retaining a place for stage shows in the digital age.
I lived in Melbourne for 3 years for university, but the experience of these 3 days was incredible. I have lived for 28 years, but since starting my LGSC journey in February, now live with a completely different perspective.
Visits to Victoria’s Parliament by regional community leaders can now include parliament in practice sessions that help to give insights into the procedures and processes of parliament.
In September, Leadership Great South Coast and Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Program included these sessions into their field visits to Parliament House.
They were provided with briefings by the President of the Legislative Council, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and senior parliamentary officials, who spoke about their leadership roles in parliament, the management of parliamentary business during a sitting week and the way in which parliamentary committees operate.
The parliament in practice sessions can be arranged through the Victorian Parliament’s Community Engagement Unit by emailing email@example.com or by phoning Communications Manager Andres Lomp on 8682 2814.
Through its committees, the Victorian Parliament is currently investigating a number of issues relevant to Victorians living in regional areas.
The Environment and Planning Committee has just announced a new public inquiry into legislation to restrict the supply and sale of plastic bags in Victoria. The inquiry will focus on the detail of the Environment Protection Amendment (Banning Plastic Bags, Packaging and Microbeads) Bill 2016. Public submissions have been invited by 21 October.
The inquiry into fire season preparation is continuing its public hearings and will be taking evidence in Morwell, Bairnsdale and Colac from 26 to 29 September.
Retirement housing is also under review, with the Legal and Social Issues Committee receiving more than 760 submissions from across Victoria. Public hearings will begin on 28 September and will include hearings in regional centres.
Road safety is another issue attracting the attention of Victorian parliamentary committees. The most recent committee report looked into rule changes that would require motorists to maintain a distance of between 1 and 1.5 metres when passing cyclists.
The Economy and Infrastructure Committee supported the rule change, stating that it is now up to the Legislative Council to decide whether to support the legislation.
“Regardless of whether or not the Bill is passed, cyclists’ safety is an issue that needs the attention of governments,” Committee Chair Joshua Morris said.
“The Committee has recommended that, even if the Bill is not passed, an education campaign about safe passing distances be run, that a stakeholder group be established to advise and assist with cyclist safety initiatives and that mandatory standards be considered for the width of traffic and bicycle lanes.”
Road safety is also one of the features of the P-plate licence age inquiry which recently held hearings in Ballarat and Warrnambool. The inquiry will take further evidence in Wodonga on 4 October. People interested in contributing can email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
The inquiry into control of invasive animals on Crown land will also take evidence in regional Victoria over the coming months. On 6 and 7 October there will be a public hearing and public forum in Sale.
To keep up to date with all Victorian parliamentary committee inquiries and opportunities to contribute, visit www.parliament.vic.gov.au/committees or sign up for the free news alert service on parliamentary committee inquiries by emailing: email@example.com
And as a follow-up to the regional leadership summit held in Bendigo in August, where the Parliament of Victoria had an information stand, Ballarat sculptor Tas Wansbrough together with Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling have been invited to exhibit their sculptures at Parliament House as part of the 125th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Petition.
The invitation followed a discussion with parliamentary staff who attended the summit about opportunities to showcase regional artists at Parliament House.
The anniversary exhibition of Tas and Pauline’s PODTASTIC will be on show at Parliament House on 28-29 September and 3-4 October. The exhibition will help commemorate the petition with 30,000 signatures that was presented to the Victorian Parliament in 1891 calling for women’s right to vote.
A Scholarship for young people aged 21-30
The Denis Tricks Young Regional Community Leader Scholarship is for a young person aged between 21-30 who is able to demonstrate leadership potential.
The scholarship enables a young person to enroll in one of the 10 Regional Community Leadership Programs operating across Victoria.
Are you a young and emerging leader who cares for your community and wants to make a difference?
Would you like to be connected to the people that lead our communities across rural and regional Victoria?
Are you interested in meeting like-minded people and making rewarding new friendships?
Are you looking for a new learning opportunity that will help you progress your career?
Then apply for the Denis Tricks Young Regional Community Leader Scholarship to participate in a program near to you!
“I highly recommend this fantastic Program if you want to develop both professionally and personally and have a desire to give back to your region”
Jess Howe, Leadership Great South Coast, 2012
Please apply through your program of choice to be considered to this scholarship
Being awarded the Denis Tricks Young Regional Leader Scholarship has changed my life. Without it taking part in a fantastic program such as the Leadership Great South Program was something I never saw myself being a part of at just 24. I am the youngest participant and I enjoy reminding the group of this. As a group of 16 people across varying ages, cultural backgrounds and social beliefs its uncanny how emotionally close the group has become to one another. The Cultural Diversity day where we learnt about the ongoing crisis in Syria and refugee crisis worldwide is something I will never forget especially after hearing stories from a fellow program member.
As a part of the Leadership Program participants team up to deliver a project that benefits the community in some way. My team project is partnering up with Basalt to Bay Landcare network to assist in the construction of two large shelter belts on crown land in Woolsthorpe, Victoria. Federal funding has been received and we are currently in the project planning process now. http://www.basalttobay.org.au/ (The Green Line Project) – see photos below
I have always wanted to be somebody who makes a difference in their community, through undertaking the Leadership Great South Coast Program I have taken another step towards achieving that goal. This has all been made possible thanks to the Williamson Foundation.
Andrew Cameron (Leadership Great South Coast Program)