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2021 Participants


Please join us in welcoming our 2021 Program participants:


Brendan Hyland, Area Manager Milk Quality, South West Victoria, Fonterra Australia
Sponsor – The Gardiner Foundation

Lynden Brown, People and Culture Advisor, South West TAFE

Kylie McIntyre, Sustainability Coordinator, Southern Grampians Shire Council

Ben Marsden, Coordinator Eastern Treatment Team, Wannon Water

Kylie Moroney, Teacher, School for Student Leadership Gnurad-Gundidj Campus

Paul Dunn, Veterinary Technician, The Vetgroup
Sponsor – Corangamite Shire

Tania Penny, Customer Relations Coordinator (Collections), Wannon Water

Heather Smillie, Regional Extension Officer and Young Dairy Network Coordinator, WestVic Dairy

Ashleigh Glennon, Health Promotion Project Officer, South West Healthcare
Sponsor – The Hugh Williamson Foundation

Carl Joyce, Podiatrist, Gen Health
Sponsor – South West Community Foundation

Peter McLauchlan, Business Manager Innovation & Research, Lyndoch Living

Craig McLeod, Food Service Manager South West Healthcare Warrnambool

Aaron Leddin, ICT System Administration Officer, Moyne Shire Council

Ella Credlin, Agribusiness Manager, ANZ Bank
Sponsor – Leadership Great South Coast

Jamie Pepper, Assistant Manager, Whispering Meadows
Sponsor – Agriculture Victoria Young Farmer

Oonagh Kilpatrick, Co-Owner H and O Kilpatrick Pty Ltd
Sponsor – Great South Coast Food and Fibre Council


2020 Graduation – Meet Our Newest Alumni


Congratulations to our 2020 participants who graduated on 26 Nov, they now join a growing Alumni of community leaders building capacity across the Great South Coast Region of Victoria.

In a challenging year we achieved a 100% retention and graduation rate which is quiet an accomplishment – we congratulate all our graduates who have developed and gown as adaptive leaders throughout 2020. Introducing our newest Alumni:

  1. Billy Edis, Director, Southcoast Project Management
  2. Catherine Darkin, Advisor, Population Health and Community Wellbeing. Department of Health and Human Services
  3. Jason Van Der Heyden, Maintenance Electrician, Wannon Water
  4. Catherine Fitzgerald, Treasurer, Warrnambool Agricultural Society
    Sponsor – South West Community Foundation
  5. Craig Kelson, Financial Accountant, South West TAFE
  6. Dominic Conheady, Dairy Farmer, Self Employed
    Sponsor – Gardiner Foundation
  7. Joseph Sinnott, Human Resources Advisor, Warrnambool City Council
  8. Joy Coulson, Farm Services Advisor, Saputo Dairy Australia
    Sponsor – Gardiner Foundation
  9. Kara Winderlich, Risk Management Coordinator, Southern Grampians Shire Council
  10. Emily Falla, Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer, South West Healthcare
    Sponsor – Wannon Water
  11. Jerram Wurlod- Operations Manager – Keayang Maar Vineyard, Dixie
    Sponsor – Corangamite Shire
  12. Liam Arnott, Works Supervisor – Construction, Moyne Shire Council 
  13. Mandy Cohen, Area Manager Wimmera South West, MacKillop Family Services
  14. Troy Lovett- Wurreker Broker, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association
    Sponsor – Leadership Great South Coast
  1. Michelle Badenhorst, Owner Suffoir Winery and Brewery, Macarthur
    Sponsor – Women In Agriculture 
  2. Tim McPherson, Management Accountant, Wannon Water


Governance – The role you are meant to be in!


It turns out that if you have determination, passion, and a life-based skillset, you can get into governance and contribute to positive change. That is right, boards and committees are looking for people like you right now! I’m not suggesting that you call your nearest multi-national mining company and tell them to save you a place at the board room table (though this is achievable), but I am suggesting you can have an enormous positive impact on your community by sitting on one of your local committees and/or boards including CWA, kindergarten/schools boards, lions club as a few obvious choices. Here you can work with like-minded people to have your say, working with continued improvement in mind for these organisations and community groups.

You could also get really serious and consider applying for a seat on a government based not-for-profit board such as a hospital or TAFE board, though keep in mind there is generally more experience and accreditation required combined with an application and interview process. Here you can help to facilitate change on a larger scale within your community.

And then, if you happen to love it so much that you want to get reimbursed for your time, paid board positions do exist with larger private enterprises and organisations and generally require formal qualifications like the AICD Company Directors course to be completed along with extensive experience prior to application.

I can tell that you are already excited to make change and to help the community, but there are a few things that you need to bear in mind.

  1. Good governance is not easy, it takes work
  2. Be passionate about your cause
  3. Have an exit strategy before you get involved, and
  4. Governance is an evolving practice

Keeping this advice in mind, the final ingredient that creates high quality governance is diversity, which is why you should apply. You and your story could be what is needed in the board/committee you’re interested in.

Go and apply, make that positive change!

Jason Van Der Heyden, 2020 LGSC Participant


How to help others and get happy in the process!


Volunteers… they are the rock that our community groups and community fabric is built on. When you picture a volunteer you see meals-on-wheels drivers, coaches at the local sporting club or a cake stand at the school fete.

Have you ever considered how much volunteering you have done in your life? You may be quite surprised, as our 2020 LGSC participants were at our recent program day on the benefits of volunteering and the arts.

Numerous studies have proven that volunteering supports positive mental health – it is a great way to engage in your local community and increase your sense of social connection, provides internal satisfaction and can also be a great way to learn new skills that can be transferred into the paid workplace.

But what really speaks volumes is the 1996 study which found that volunteering is the second greatest source of joy, coming in only behind dancing! When all the benefits are considered it is a hard sell not to get involved and become a volunteer.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is may seem that a lot of volunteering opportunities are not currently available, but local organisation Volunteer Connect provides an easy platform to support you to find the right project or organisation where you can lend a hand.

So whilst some may decide that the foxtrot or the fandango may be for them, consider volunteering to not only help someone in need of a hand, but to help yourself towards happiness.

Liam Arnott, 2020 LGSC Participant

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