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ARLP Course 29 Scholar, Tim Brennan | Session Updates

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 for the program click here.

Tim Brennan of Whyalla Beef, 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 1 update – The Kimberleys

Session 1 of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) was facilitated in the beautiful and remote Kimberley region of Western Australia. What an unforgettable experience it was.

The session started in Darwin briefly, with the forming of Cohort 29, before we set off on our leadership journey in Western Australia. It was here that I had the privilege to meet and group with some exceptional leaders handpicked from all across Australia.

Discovery and Awareness was the theme of Session 1 and it exceeded my expectations. Mentally and physically, I was challenged. This led to the growth of my self-awareness and unearthing of core values.

I was able to experiment with my leadership style and behaviours, observe those of others and witness the pure beauty of the Kimberleys. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. It was astonishing how quickly a group of entirely diverse individuals could form into one big ARLP family.

Throughout Session 1, I was also extremely privileged to walk on country alongside traditional custodians of the land. Together, we shared our stories and connected to country, as we progressed through the program. Like the custodians walking the lands thousands of years ago, I have come to appreciate the journey of leadership and the realisation that there is no final destination, but rather a continuous path.

Looking forward, I’m very excited to get back down to Whyalla Beef to continue my leadership journey and I can’t wait for Session 2 coming up in October.

Thank you to the Australian Lot Feeders' Association for providing me with this life-changing opportunity; I am forever grateful.

Session 2 - Update

How does time fly by so fast? It only felt like yesterday that I came home from the Kimberley’s and now I’m reflecting back on Session 2. This time of my life sure is going quickly!

Session 2 of the Program took place in the resourcefully rich lands of East Gippsland regional Victoria. I traded in the hiking shoes and tent for jumpers and RM Williams as I travelled on Gunaikurnai country. And what an experience the 9 days were!

Affiliation and mobilisation were the themes of the session and it is safe to say that I fully unearthed the meaning of both of these words. Moving through the region, I studied the opportunities and challenges facing local communities, I met some incredible people and witnessed some inspiring leadership. It is safe to say that nine days didn’t do the region, leaders or communities justice! Session 2 gave me many great opportunities to test myself, to experiment and to network with my cohort.

I will not forget my time at Gippsland.

As I pass the halfway point of my journey with the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP), I look back with disbelief on what I’ve experienced and accomplished and how much I have grown.

The ARLP is once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I must again give a huge shout out to the Australian Lot Feeders Association (ALFA) & MLA for their sponsorship of my participation in the program. I am indebted to ALFA, the industry, and my employer Whyalla Beef who have made sacrifices for me to participate in the program.

I have developed a distinct passion for growing young leadership and I hope any young leaders out there reading this can get some inspiration and motivation towards applying for the ARLP.

It is a life changing opportunity.

Closing out, I can’t wait for Session 3 which is being held in New Zealand in March 2023. Till then Ka kite anō.

Session 3 - Update

Kia Ora from Aotearoa. The third session of the Australian Rural Leadership Program Cohort 29 was held on the 12th to 24th of March 23 in New Zealand. Never travelling overseas before, the prospect of travelling across the ditch to New Zealand for this session was very exciting. I was fortunate to witness some incredible landscapes, landmarks, and people as I travelled to Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

The overarching themes for the international trip was Networking and Affiliation.

During the 12 days, I was exposed to the importance of cultural awareness, adaption to change, authenticity, advocacy, and action in establishing strong networks. I am continuingly unpacking my reflections from these experiences.

Culture was a common thread that resonated to me through the entirety of the session, and I was intrigued by the influence of Māori culture past and present. I believe on reflection, there is many lessons to be taken away from Māori culture.

Looking back on the program, I am still amazed at how quickly it is progressing.

I have learnt and experienced so much in such a short period of time.

I don’t want to think about the program’s conclusion in September. It has been a momentous experience for me, and I have made some lifelong mentors and friends.

As I look to step back into work and personal life, I am excited to reconnect back to my colleagues, family, and friends that I have left behind for the past two weeks.

I am eager to continue my path of experiential learning, reflection and start playing with the notion of network and affiliation.

Again, I would like to share my gratitude with my sponsors the Australian Lot Feeders Association and Meat and Livestock Australia and also my employer Whyalla Beef who have all continuously supported me on my leadership journey with the ARLF.

Whakawkhetai ki a koe mo mahi katoa (Thankyou for all your support).

- Tim Brennan



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