THE Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) is seeking a high-calibre pool of applicants from the dairy industry to throw their hats in the ring and take the next step in leading their industry forward.
For many graduates of the ARLP, the experience marks a turning point in their leadership style, family or community life, or professional journey in general.
Run by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation since 1992, more than 600 rural leaders have graduated from the ARLP, and the call is on again for our best and brightest living in and working for rural Australia to apply for the latest program.
Three years ago, Lisa Dwyer, a dairy farmer from Hawkesdale in southwest Victoria, running an 340 hectare enterprise with her husband Eddie, couldn’t have known the full significance the ‘ARLP’ moniker would come to have in her life.
She applied in 2011 and was selected to take part in the 19th cohort of the program, from which she will graduate this September.
“Without any doubt, the opportunity to work alongside 28 other diverse, talented and passionate leaders from across regional and rural Australia is the highlight of the program,” Mrs Dwyer said.
“It is an extraordinary opportunity from which I am determined to make an extraordinary difference.”
The ARLP is a 59-day program that takes place over sux sessions spread across 17 months. Sessions take place all over Australia, and one of the components takes place overseas.
Participants of the program are supported through scholarships valued at $50,000 that are provided by a range of organisations that all share an interest in ensuring that rural Australia is backed by strong leadership on the ground.
This year, Dairy Australia is offering a scholarship for a motivated, passionate leader from the dairy industry to take up the opportunity of a lifetime.
There are also several other scholarships available that would be suitable for dairy applicants, be they farmers, researchers, or from any other facet of the industry.
The 21st Course of the ARLP will begin in May 2014 and will conclude in September 2015. Applications are open until July 31, and application forms can be downloaded at http://www.rural-leaders.com.au/p rograms/arlp/applications-for-cou rse-21-may-2014-sept-2015.
For Lisa and her husband, the purchase of their own farm eight years ago placed a lot at stake and they have been rewarded with a 36 per cent increase in productivity within the first five years.
To Lisa however, participating in the ARLP was the chance to test her own capabilities and take her learning and leadership further.
“One of the unique advantages of the ARLP is that the learning can be applied to every aspect of life,” she said.
“I am determined that such a significant investment [in me] will be realised many times over through a commitment to the dairy industry that is enthusiastic, future minded and above all, effective.”
To find out more about the ARLP, visit the Foundation website http://www.rural-leaders.com.au/, or call (02) 6281 0680.