The Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) is run by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) and provides an opportunity for leadership development using challenge-based and experiential learning.
Each year, ALFA and MLA award up to two scholarships to lot feeders to attend ARLP, an investment of $50,000 each. For more information on the program, the scholarship and to express your interest or apply, click here.
Ryan Brown of Smithfield Cattle Co, QLD, was awarded the grain fed beef industry scholarship for Course 29 of the ARLP and will share his experience on the program through regular updates below.
Session One - The Kimberley's
In June 2022, I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks in the Kimberly region of Western Australia as part of the Australian Rural Leadership Program Cohort 29. The first of Four sessions over the next 16 months.
Aside from spending time in a unique, extremely remote and thoroughly impressive part of Australia, session 1 was the first opportunity to meet the rest of Cohort 29. 31 people all from Rural and Regional Australia representing many industries ranging from Health care to Sea food.
Over the course of these two weeks, we were put into unfamiliar situations designed to challenge our thinking and experiment with different leadership styles and behaviours. This exposure to so many different leadership challenges over such a short period of time was incredibly demanding both physically and mentally but was an experience I will never forget.
I left Northern Australia exhausted but excited to return home with new insight into my current leadership practices and tools to further develop my leadership skills.
Thank you to both ALFA and MLA for this incredible opportunity.
The most valuable part of this program for me personally was the professional development work. There has been an incredible variety of presenters and topics covered across the four sessions. Some of the most impactful sessions for me were the use of framing and language in messaging, building resilience in rural communities and effectively advocating. In session two all participants were given the opportunity to propose a group project to improve an issue in rural, regional, or remote Australia, since that time we have worked together on finding solutions to several of the issues raised.
The purpose of this exercise was to teach participants a design thinking and innovation technique, we have all had access to instruction in one design thinking model across the last year, I have personally benefited from the model provided and feel I am better prepared to contribute to various industry problems into the future.
The programs goals are to give the participant tools and motivation to contribute to solutions for industry or community issues. I personally have gained a lot from my experiences on the ARLP, and it has directly impacted my contribution to my industry. The greatest recommendation I can give is that my expectations were met and exceeded.