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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


#LGSC21 Program Applications Now Open


#LGSC21 Program Applications are Now Open – Over $30,000 Scholarships Available click our Application Tab for more info – Get your Scholarship Apps in by 25 Sept

Answer yes to the following #LGSC21 is for you!

  • I am ready to be inspired …2021 is my year
  • I care for my community and want to make a difference
  • I want to connect with people that lead our Great South Coast communities
  • I want to meet like-minded people and make rewarding new networks and friendships
  • I am seeking a learning opportunity that will help progress my career
  • I want to be part of the solution and a community led recovery in 2021

Ready to take the next step in your leadership journey?

What you can expect from your LGSC year:

  • Transferable leadership skills development
  • Personal growth and professional development
  • A supported opportunity to give back via a community project
  • Expanded business, industry and community networks
  • A greater understanding of our region’s social, economic and environmental opportunities and challenges
  • Membership of a growing network of diverse cross sector program graduates

Annually we seek applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds and sectors with a range of scholarships on offer to support this aim.

The primary eligibility criteria is a demonstrated eagerness to contribute to the community and develop your leadership skills and networks.



Flashback #LGSC Project


‘Charged Landscape’ is a sculpture on the Port Fairy Rail Trail  take a 5 min walk off the Reardon St entrance in Port Fairy (just over the little bridge) and its on your right. Through this piece artists Becky Nevin Berger and Jon Dixon recognise the many overlapping histories of Port Fairy …multiple aspects are brought together in a constellation representing the Emu in the Sky, from indigenous astronomy.

You can Click Here to find out more about the 29 Discs embedded in the boulders …the installation is best viewed at dusk, take torch /phone with you for the Discs.  Tip – Don’t miss the Dark Emu on the large Flat Boulder…it is stunning.

Becky Emma Gareth Brendan Ann Jon

Thanks to the Project team Emma Mahony, Gareth Colliton, Brendan Rea and Ann Cunningham (pictured below with Artists Becky and Jon)


Thanks to our project Partners The Hugh Williamson Foundation, Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Bamstone, The Isobel and David Jones Family Foundation, The Gall Family Foundation, Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail Committee

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