Leadership Great South Coast’s City Adventure

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!

Combined Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program Day (day 1)

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.

‘Behold! Rejoice my people! I bring you a smarter way!’

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.

Parliament House (day 2)

After 8 years working for State Government, these were my initial thoughts of State Parliament:

  1. What an amazing library!
  2. Nobody appears to be listening to anyone else…

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.

‘I thought this was Snake Island’ (aka Question Time)

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.

Arts Program Day (day 3)     

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.

 Change begins at the end of your comfort zone, take a step.

 with Premier.jpg    W Josh Morris.jpg

Kat Baddeley

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