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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


Combining Old with New – Our Parliament in Action During the Pandemic


Less than 12 months ago abrupt change was impossible, remote work unpopular. Kicking and screaming, have been forced into embracing change and technology that has long been readily available to us. As Andrew Wear, author of Solved said, “we need to prod and poke the accepted wisdom”. The answers were all there, we just couldn’t see them until we were forced to look for them.

Of course the elected members of the Victorian Parliament are no different. They have also had to find ways of converting homes into offices and classrooms. Numbers allowed in the Legislative Assembly have been reduced to 20 and barriers have been erected. The result, perhaps unintended, has made for a far more courteous question time. Regional members have been allowed to attend virtually. Now, more than ever, we are being forced to change and adapt in the blink of an eye. Many are taking the opportunity to consider permanent changes to the way they work, where they work and even where they live. Should the same considerations be made to the Victorian Parliaments Westminster system and legislation? Does it need to be adapted, modified and made safer for current and future Victorians? Should legislation on Aboriginal Treaty have been passed by now? Is question time still valuable in its current form in the digital age? Should electronic petitions be accepted and given more weight? Should elected members be allowed to vote on bills virtually?

Perhaps parallels can be made with the current challenge of refurbishing the heritage listed Parliament House building. For several years now, the long, complicated task of turning a 164 year old building into one that is safe, practical and future proof has been undertaken. As you walk the corridors (even virtually) the evidence of the struggle between old and new are everywhere. The design of the immaculate dome and it’s stained glass windows are abruptly interrupted by the sight of a smoke detector and wifi antenna. A beautifully tiled stone floor has been cut and demolished to make way for a set of elevators and fire escapes. An 1850’s building is suddenly being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, adapted, modernised and made safe. Shouldn’t this have all happened a long time ago?


Jerram Wurlod, 2020 Program Participant


Australian Parliament Program Day 2020


#LGSC20 Participants took a virtual trip to Australian Parliament in Canberra this week expanding their political knowledge and networks. After an engaging session with the Parliamentary Education Team (thanks to Andrew Back) we enjoyed conversation with the following speakers gaining an understanding of their leadership journeys, their perspective on current political challenges and COVID19 recovery priorities.

Thanks to our guests for their frank and honest conversations

    • Senator the Hon Scott Ryan
    • Cathy McGowan AO
    • The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP
    • Dr Mike Kelly AM
    • Senator Janet Rice
    • The Hon Lisa Chesters MP
    • The Hon Dr Helen Haines MP
    • The Hon Zali Steggall OAM MP

Our takeaways included words of wisdom from Cathy McGowan – Leadership is a journey, you get better by doing it – her advice Turn Up, Speak Up and Step Up into your leadership.

Participant reflection – My quotable quotes include “getting an MP’s attention through story-telling; following up communication through MPs’ knowledgeable and hardworking staff; beginning with the end in mind & exercising our ‘courage muscle. Joy #LGSC2020

Our Program Day was state-wide Regional Leadership event with over 175 participants attending from all nine Victorian Community Leadership Programs.

  1. Northern Mallee Leaders  www.nml.org.au
  2. Leadership Wimmera www.wda.org.au/leadership-wimmera
  3. Leadership Ballarat and Western Region www.lbwr.org
  4. Leaders For Geelong www.committeeforgeelong.com.au/leadership-portfolio/
  5. Lead Loddon Murray www.leadlm.org.au
  6. Goulburn Murray Community Leadership www.fairleyleadership.com.au
  7. Gippsland Community Leadership Program www.gclp.asn.au 
  8. Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program www.avclp.org.au
  9. Leadership Great South Coast www.lgsc.org.au

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