Leading in a Small Regional Community

28 April, 2016 Matt Vaux – GCLP16 Rosedale, Victoria Australia

Living in Rosedale, a small regional community in Gippsland, has created its own leadership challenges. With a limited supply of people, willing to put their hands up for various reasons, as well as many different community groups with many positions to fill it requires people to fill positions on multiple committees. This results in a number of community members who have a louder voice than others and in the absence of any formal leadership training their ability to lead more than one group successfully is limited and in some extreme circumstances their actions can divide a town.

This has been where it has been great to have been selected for the 2016 Gippsland Community Leadership Program (GCLP), where everyone is an equal no matter what you do or where you are from. I am the youngest in the program, and it has been great to be able to network with such a diverse group as well as establishing new friendship. The program also allows me to experience and explore our region and consider the issues and opportunities that we face, after all Gippsland is a great region to live and work in. I am constantly developing my own leadership skills and knowledge and achieving a greater sense of self reflection and awareness.

Although coming from a small town may have challenges it has given me great opportunities to learn, build my confidence and become who I am today these skills also provide me with an opportunity to provide real tangible benefits to our small family business (Rosedale Butchers). Community groups provide a lot of real life training that no book or course is going to give you. Being the editor or the Rosedale Newsletter has enhanced my desktop publishing, by having to create different adverts and to publish the newsletter fortnightly. Rosedale Football Netball Club has provided a great place to network with locals and other businesses during corporate functions. Rosedale Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been a great place to network with creative people and assist by putting our town on the map by staging amazing and differing events.

My biggest step in my Leadership Journey has to become a director at the Heyfield and District Community Bendigo Bank. The community bank network provides many opportunities to expand your knowledge which has lead me to develop my business skills.

The biggest achievement to date was in 2015 when I applied to join the Wellington Shire Youth Council and then being elected Youth Mayor. This provided its own challenges throughout the year and enabled me to put into practice skills I had developed from previous roles and people I had met.

Being involved in different community groups, developing my self-confidence and creative thinking, as well as my involvement with GCLP, has enabled me to think outside the box within our family business. It started off with creating an ever changing range of gourmet sausages sometimes challenging the taste buds and expanding our range of smoked smallgoods to create a greater interest for our customers and enticing new ones. In 2015 I started a range of ready cooked homemade meals consisting of lasagne and shepherds pie which are very popular, the range will soon be expanding. This year I came up with a crazy idea of creating a herb garden to lighten up the front window of the shop. It has been a great success so far, having brightened up the window and also creating more interest in the business. Hopefully once they start to grow customers will start taking them home for their cooking.

Thinking outside the box and taking opportunities that arise have led to me having an exciting life that creates an environment for achievement and excitement.

I am excited to find out what opportunities arise after graduating from GCLP!


Kat Baddeley

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