Following in the footsteps of over 600 graduates, including former Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay AO APM, and Mary Aldred, CEO of Franchise Council of Australia, the Gippsland Community Leadership Program’s 2021 intake joins a high calibre, diverse and committed alumni.
The 27 selected form a cohort of leaders from both public and private sectors across Gippsland and were welcomed by their 2020 counterparts at a combined graduation and launch event earlier this month.
In its 25th year, the Gippsland Community Leadership Program (GCLP) is the longest running of its kind in Australia and, according to GCLP Program Director Mark Answerth, is testament to the commitment of the Committee for Gippsland in delivering the program and the value Gippsland business and industry place on quality leadership.
“Gippsland reaps the rewards of well-trained leaders who can contribute effectively to their workplace and community.
“Many graduates still live and work locally, others have moved beyond the region, and a number have become significant leaders in business and government at both state and federal levels.” Mr Answerth highlighted.
Key to the program’s success is the way participants apply existing skillsets and acquire new ones through practice, innovation and connection. This is the result of high-quality leadership training and opportunities that focus on advocacy, diversity, collaboration and community.
“Each year the program centres around the cohort honing their leadership skills through the development and delivery of five group-based community projects within Gippsland,” explained Mr Answerth.
“I’m extremely proud to say that our 2020 cohort based all five of their projects in East Gippsland to help support fire-affected communities.”
The successful delivery of all five 2020 projects was celebrated at this month’s graduation, with presentations acknowledging the redevelopment of fire-ravaged Clifton Creek’s community playground; an online platform for matching volunteers to most-suited areas of need; the delivery of 160 toolboxes to replace equipment lost to fire; a partnership with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation gathering cultural awareness data from across Gippsland; and, the production of a calendar of artwork by students from fire-affected schools.
This year’s participants, representing 26 workplaces and 16 different townships, are well on the way to setting their sights high in planning for 2021’s suite of community projects for Gippsland.
“We’re extremely proud of the expertise and commitment of those involved in the program,” acknowledged Mr Answerth.
“With our proven track record, there’s no doubt this 2021 group will grow their leadership capacity which will deliver career benefits but, importantly, contribute greatly to their workplace, community and to the region as a whole.”