Alumni Converge for Change

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) hosted an alumni luncheon in Broken Hill last Wednesday. This event furnished a platform for the foundation to deliberate on the forthcoming Future Drought Fund Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative Changemaker Workshops, scheduled to be conducted throughout the region next year. More details regarding these workshops will be disclosed in the approaching weeks.

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) was also present at the event, with a spokesperson acknowledging the longstanding partnership between the FRRR and the ARLF.

Gemma Rostron, a representative from the ARLF, noted that in Broken Hill, the alumni count has now surpassed 20, all of whom have graduated through one of the foundation’s flagship programs. Furthermore, there are more than 2,600 alumni nationwide.

This alliance between the two organisations facilitates the concoction and execution of programs and initiatives aimed at equipping regional and rural communities to adeptly manage drought conditions. One such initiative is the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative.

“The Initiative recognises that individuals are more resilient when they are part of a strong community. Therefore, it supports community members and organisations driving local action to prepare for drought,” Ms Rostron explained.

In line with this, the Changemaker Workshops comprise two-day sessions for any regional individual keen on instigating change or assuming more proactive roles as changemakers, influencers, or community advocates.

In essence, these workshops aim to nurture self-awareness, community engagement, resilience, leadership prowess, and the capacity to engender positive change while appreciating diverse viewpoints and community welfare.

Gigi Barbe partook in the ARLF’s Drought Resilience Leadership Program in early 2023, climaxing in a 3-day summit at Mutawintji National Park.

Upon concluding her program last year, Ms Barbe organised an event for not-for-profit organisations at the Trades Hall, and curated a booklet recognising these organisations, titled “Our Active Community Directory – Broken Hill.”

She shared with the Truth that her invitation to the luncheon was to “discuss the future of community engagement opportunities for Broken Hill and the region.”

“There was an emphasis on identifying new leaders in our town, particularly among the 18–30-year-olds, and I am keen to collaborate with the foundation to leverage existing networks in identifying those leaders,” she remarked.

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