Why Community Leadership?

Strong, vibrant and sustainable communities need great leaders and contributors.

Community leaders are not always visible, however we feel their presence and contribution, where it exists and in its absence. We feel it in a community’s response to crisis. When a hospital requires fundraising to purchase new equipment. When farmers need advocacy to influence policy. When a group of people are being isolated or marginalised. When the environment is at risk.

Community leaders emerge, listen, bring people together, keep everyone motivated and on track. Their guidance makes a difference. Over time, communities come to know and trust an established group of leaders. Sometimes in rural and regional communities, this group shoulders a lot of responsibility for maintaining the health and vibrancy of a place. Maintaining the health and capacity of established leaders, while inducting and developing new contributors is vital to the sustainability of rural communities and regional cities.

LEAD Loddon Murray has twenty-one years’ experience in supporting established community leaders and actively developing emerging community leaders.

Established leaders engage LEAD Loddon Murray for succession management, governance masterclasses for community groups, short courses on change management, understanding generational differences in community engagement and opportunities to connect with each other to discuss the capability and culture of leadership in the region.

Emerging leaders come to LEAD Loddon Murray to strengthen their understanding of the region as a whole and the unique characteristics of its communities. We actively develop emerging leaders by strengthening their awareness and skills as responsible leaders of themselves, their organisations and communities. We facilitate connections and mentoring between established and emerging community leaders through our events and programs.

To view our  – 2018 Annual Report click the link to Download.

Our Vision

Vibrant and sustainable regional communities.

LEAD Loddon Murray provides communities with the confidence and knowledge to be clear about what they want to achieve, to find strength within the community and to lead themselves. Communities know their people and environment best. Therefore, when local people come together to identify and solve issues themselves, the results are deeper, more effective and sustainable.

We believe self-determined communities generate vibrancy and ensure sustainability.

Our Mission

To empower and inspire leadership.

LEAD Loddon Murray develops leaders, builds capacity and facilitates conversations to empower and inspire leadership. We partner with government, business and the community sector to deliver experiences which cultivate effective leaders. We scaffold our participants learning by building relationships, developing skills, raising awareness and demonstrating responsible leadership in action. We provide an outstanding adult learning environment, which values peers experience and showcases leadership theory in action, through the stories of established community leaders and groups.


Integrity: We operate in an open, transparent and sustainable manner at all times and conduct our relationships with honesty, trust and compassion. We value diversity in our organisation, programs and community.

Innovation: Our actions foster creative ideas and identify opportunities to grow our communities. We are committed to lifelong learning, personal growth and self-awareness.

Inspiration: We engage, encourage and empower individuals and communities.

Our Region

Covering almost a quarter of the State of Victoria and serving 400,000 people, the region we serve includes ten local government areas from Swan Hill to the Macedon Ranges. Our region, the Southern Loddon Mallee, is expansive and diverse. Home to the vibrant regional city of Greater Bendigo and major towns of Echuca, Swan Hill, Castlemaine, Gisborne, Kyneton, Maryborough and Kerang. Our functional regional economy is heavily influenced by agriculture (25% of all businesses are agriculture related) and manufacturing, (38% of Greater Bendigo’s economic output comes from the manufacturing sector). More than 80% of our small townships have a population of less than 1,500 residents and inspire us with their creativity and determination in continuing to meet the needs of local residents.

Our History

LEAD Loddon Murray began as the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program (LMCLP) in 1998 and arose from a consultation process to look at the future of the northern irrigation district following a leak in Torrumbarry Weir in the mid 1990’s.

At the time, governments at both Federal and State levels were unsure as to whether or not the Weir should be repaired, so a Committee was established to look at the future of the Northern Victorian Irrigation Region comprising representatives of both levels of government, and local landholders.

A range of community consultation activities was undertaken, and out of this process came the Loddon Murray 2000+ Rural Partnership Program which found that the region did indeed have huge potential with good soils, an excellent climate, and good access to water, but there was a need to build local community capacity in order to empower people to take advantage of the opportunities available within the region.

And so LMCLP was born and supported by government funding for the first three years while getting established, with the first group of 23 participants taking part in the program in 1998, under the direction of part-time Program Coordinator and a voluntary Committee of Management.

In 2002, when the implementation of the Loddon Murray Plus+ Program was completed, the LMCLP became auspiced by the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA), and the catchment area for participants enlarged to include north central Victoria.

To facilitate this, a full-time Coordinator was appointed and for the next four years the program continued to be auspiced, and predominantly funded by, the NCCMA, but by the end of 2005 it was becoming clear that this source of funding was no longer guaranteed and a decision was made for LMCLP to become an incorporated association in its own right, a process complete by the end of the 2005 program year.

In 2006 the program year began operation as independent association with a new Coordinator, and a motivated Board of Management who worked tirelessly (and continue to do so) to secure the funding necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program.

The first Strategic Plan for the new incorporated association was completed in 2008, with the major recommendation that the organisation change its name to Community Leadership Loddon Murray Inc. to better reflect the broad range of programs the organisation now delivers, one of which is the annual LMCLP.

Since then the LMCLP program has grown from strength the strength, most recently the organisation have begun building and growing other program offerings including Leading Excellence Maryborough, Women of Community, Regional Leaders Orientation and Stepping Stones Youth Leadership Program. Along with this new growth the board choose this as an opportune time to re-brand the organisation to LEAD Loddon Murray.

Our Partners

Our partners invest in our vision of vibrant and sustainable regional communities. Partner organisations support our work by providing financial sponsorship, engaging in LEAD Loddon Murray Programs as participants, guest speakers and mentors and sharing their perspective of critical issues for leaders. We share our strategic intent and goals with our Partner organisations and they support us by sharing knowledge and resources. Together, we are building a stronger cohort of effective, accomplished regional leaders.

The Victorian Government is the principle partner of LEAD Loddon Murray and major financial supporter of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program, Leading Excellence Maryborough and LGBTI Leaders. The Victorian Government, through Regional Development Victoria invests in the capability and capacity of regional leaders as it understands the critical role leaders play in building vibrant and sustainable communities. Our partnership with the Victorian Government includes Graduates of the LMCLP playing a key role in engaging communities to provide input and feedback on critical policy issues, evident in Regional Assemblies, agriculture round tables and rural women’s networks.

The Australian Government’s Building Better Region’s Program partnered with LEAD Loddon Murray to develop our Women of Community Retreat and Stepping Stones Programs. Aimed at preventing burnout in established leaders, serving the community in a number of roles, Women of Community was so well received by participants, LEAD Loddon Murray is now seeking partnerships to offer the program quarterly, across our expansive region.



LEAD Loddon Murray is an incorporated association governed by a Board of Management. Our Directors are passionate advocates for grassroots community leadership. Our Board is comprised of Graduates of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program, (voted on at Annual General Meetings and serving two-year terms) and Independent Community Members appointed to the board for four year terms.

Jude Hannah

Jude Hannah

Program Manager

From small beginnings of country life to grand adventures of living in one of the worlds largest cities. It has been the clients, collaboration and team work with my peers that have defined me and my direction(s) in life. From Australia to the US, Central America to Dubai, China to South Africa, Philippines to London – worldly pursuits have and always will be my business DNA. Creating user experience master plans for mix use, retail developments, cities, countries and aerotropoli. Brand strategy to Placemaking strategy; bringing life to a brand, creating engaging & meaningful spaces, community capacity building, big picture visioning, strategic business solutions for public and private clients to consumers brands and retailers. Understanding how to integrate people, place and technology in an honest and relevant way. Emotive story teller that touches the human side of people and place.
Trend Forecasting, consumer psychology, customer journey mapping, retail, packaging and prop design, inspirational educational global tours, keynote speaker, workshops and collaborative roundtable discussions.

Jude participated in the Loddon Murray Community Leadership program in 2018, and connected with it so much, she is thrilled to take on the role of Program Manager for 2019.
Committed to building sustainable business solutions. Quadruple bottom line approach to business and life – culture, social, economical and environmental.
Live for laughter and creating a joyful world. A day without a smile is unimaginable.



LEAD Loddon Murray has a range of publications that outline our work and our achievements.  Click on the links below to view electronic copies of these.

LEAD Annual Reports

LEAD annual reports are available here by just clicking on the year required.

Annual Report 2016201520142013


LEAD Strategic and Business Plan

Our most recent Strategic and Business Plans are available here.

Strategic Plan (2015 – 2020) Summary Document

Strategic Plan (2015-2020)

LEAD Information Brochures

Year Books

For all Year Books click on the year required.

LMCLP Year Book 2017 – 201620152014

Youth Leadership year books 2016

Community Projects

For all Community Project Year Books click on the year required.

Community Projects 20172016

Other Publications

For all other publications click on the publication required.

CLLM Community Impact Case Studies 2015

Get in touch if you have questions