Leaders called upon to build drought resilience

Dry Maranoa River. PHOTO: Chris Fithall (flikr)

THE Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) is calling the public to stand up and take action in the name of drought resilience.

The Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program is seeking those who live or work in the Central West region to apply to participate in a unique program.

Applications are currently open to anyone over 18, working in any industry.

Chief Executive of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Matt Linnegar said the program is an opportunity for people in Central West Queensland who want to contribute to the future resilience of their region.

“We know this work is focused on drought, and we also know that building resilience in these communities is about building resilience more generally.

“So, whether that’s drought, flood, fire, or COVID-19 or all of the above, this is about building resilience.”

The program is seeking up to 40 participants who will be looking to teach said participants, self-awareness, adaptive leadership, with a focus on climate science and regional economics.

Mr Linnegar said ARLF was looking for a diverse range of people to join the program, encouraging anyone who was interested.

“You don’t have to be experienced in this area [drought science], and you don’t have to necessarily need to be an experienced leader at all,” he said.

“People could be from community groups or volunteers, could be farmers or involved in agriculture, they might be in health or education, regional development, local government, they might be from aboriginal communities and aboriginal services — we would encourage all those people to apply.”

Mr Linnegar emphasised the importance of building confidence in disaster management for members of the community.

“I don’t need to remind people in your region about the effects of drought,” he said.

“They’ve been living with it and experiencing it more than most other Australians.

“They have an opportunity to take control over not just how they withstand drought, but this is an opportunity to step beyond that.”

Mr Linnegar said he’d wish to see people from the regions step up and work together to develop a resilience action plan.

“[We’re looking for people who say] hey listen, I’m prepared to work together with a diverse group of people in my region to develop a resilience action plan for our region, and along the way, doing that through leadership and leadership development,” he said.

“If people are thinking like that then they’re the sorts of people we’d love to see apply for this program.”

Applications are currently open and will close on September 21, to apply please visit https://rural-leaders.org.au/drought-resilience-leaders-development-program/