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Local leaders graduate

Thirty two of the region's future rural leaders recently graduated from the South East Local Leaders Program at an event held at Braidwood, attended by friends, colleagues and program sponsors.

The program, coordinated by South East Local Land Services and South East Landcare with funding from the Australian and NSW Governments, aims to develop and build the leadership capacity of rural people who are involved in natural resource management, Landcare, community, biosecurity and agricultural sectors.

The program is delivered by Global Learning leadership trainers. It consists of eight contact days held over three months and includes leadership project work and online tasks.

Regional Landcare Facilitator, Peter Pigott said by supporting programs such as this, South East Local Land Services is helping to build the capacity of rural communities.

"Participants learn to identify and refine their leadership styles, build and work effectively within teams, understand and develop skills for working in complex situations and build an on-going mentoring and support network of community leaders," Mr Pigott said.

"One of the assumptions in the program design is that people benefit from self-awareness before learning, leading and collaborating. 

"Graduation ceremony guests heard each participant speak about what they had learned about themselves and leadership and how they will apply the learning in their projects.

"Some of the graduate themes to emerge included self-awareness, confidence, self-belief, trust, the importance of connections in achieving shared goals, listening effectively to support others, understanding and managing group dynamics, dealing with difficult conversations and making meetings interesting and productive."

Yass River graduate, Kali Rajic said attending the "Deep Dive" leadership workshop had given her the practical skills to improve her life experiences and the experiences of those people that she comes into contact with.

"I learned the importance of having empathy for those in our community who do not have a voice, to take risks and to balance performance with enjoyment," Ms Rajic said.

"When working with community groups it is important for experiences to be enjoyable as well as productive."

Murrumbateman Landcare representative and program graduate, Jacqui Stol said she wanted to understand more about how to build community and make projects work.

"My course project was the establishment of a native plant display garden, which included some rare species and awareness-raising of those species," Ms Stol said.

"My biggest learning is that the goal is to build resilience, capacity, confidence, enthusiasm and general wellbeing in my community. I have found very quickly that people are responding to this in diverse ways."

For more information about the program, please contact Sari Glover at South East Local Land Services, Yass on 02 6118 7710 or email sari.glover@lls.nsw.gov.au

Media contact: Sari Glover 0427 061 789 or 02 6118 7710