Community facilities | October 01, 2018

Liberal Nationals to invest in Regional Victoria’s future leaders

Western Victorian community leaders taking part in the Leadership Wimmera and Leadership Great South West Coast programs will get more support and a funding boost if a Liberal Nationals Government is elected at November’s State Election.

There are 10 community-based Regional Community Leadership Programs (RCLP) across Victoria making an invaluable contribution to regional communities by building leadership skills and helping local leaders engage with representatives from all levels of government.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy said Regional Victoria's community leadership programs were valuable opportunities for local people to help build regional communities.

"An elected Liberal Nationals Government will help more of our emerging leaders develop their skills and drive positive change in western Victoria by boosting funding for Victoria’s Regional Community Leadership Programs by $1.5 million to $9.5 million over four years," Ms Kealy said.

"Community-based leadership opportunities like the Leadership Wimmera and Leadership Great South West Coast programs give emerging local leaders the skills they need to drive positive change in western Victoria.

"People have come from small business, agribusiness, not-for-profit and sports and recreation – to name a few – to develop their leadership skills and go on to step into local leadership roles.

“There are more than 3500 alumni from across Regional Victoria, with participants going on to take up leadership positions, including in local government and with community sporting clubs.”

Excellent examples of local program graduates include current chair of the Horsham Tidy Towns Committee Gillian Vanderwaal, who is also a voluntary Bail Justice, initiator of the Horsham boomerang bag program, Past Chair of the Wimmera Health Care Group Customer Advisory Committee and Past President of the Horsham East Rotary Club.

Jessica Fishburn, Board Member of Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West Inc, a non-for-profit organisation working in partnership with regional communities to strengthen and support initiatives that prevent illness and promote independence, health and wellbeing for local women, is another outstanding example.

Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh said funding for RCLPs expired in 2019, with the Andrews Government leaving the future of the program in limbo by failing to commit to extending the funding.

"We want to make sure local people have the skills they need to drive positive change in their community because when our regions are strong, all Victorians benefit," Mr Walsh said.

"If the Liberal nationals are elected we will ensure these valuable community programs have the funding they need to help Regional Victoria develop their next group of leaders, be it in business, community development, government or not for profit organisations." 

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