Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main benefits of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program?

LMCLP is designed to assist anyone involved in their local community, industry or region to improve their effectiveness in current roles and/or take on a leadership role. LMCLP

  • Develops creative, courageous, confident community leaders.
  • Builds on existing personal and community leadership skills.
  • Increases awareness and understanding of regional issues, resources and networks.
  • Establishes a regional ‘leadership network’.
  • Raises awareness of participants understanding of themselves and others in a leadership context.
  • Challenges, inspire and upskill participants to make positive contributions in their community.
  • Learn how to work in uncertainty and to adapt and thrive in rapidly changing environments.
  • Makes positive contributions to community through high impact projects.

How will my employer / organisation benefit from my participation in the program?

The Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program is an outstanding professional development opportunity for employers.  Your organisation will align itself with the premier community leadership development organisation in our region. Our Graduates;

  • Understand the subtle nuances in relationship building, service and commitment to lead in a regional environment.
  • Are aware of the unique characteristics of each major community in the Loddon Murray Region. They can effectively engage communities in dialogue and lead a call to action.
  • Improve their performance in effective communication, public speaking, team development, negotiation, community consultation, advocacy, productivity, grant seeking, governance, creativity and problem solving.
  • Develop self-confidence and self-awareness, and are prepared to take on greater roles of responsibility in their workplace, industry and community.
  • Through access to our alumni network, partnerships and events, your organisation will align itself with a strong network of business, local, state and federal government leaders and senior managers.

Is the program a Business Management Course?

No, the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program is just that… a Community leadership program.  Communities thrive with the input and collaboration of ‘Big ‘L’ leaders, and small ‘l’ leaders.  Our program acknowledges all levels of leadership and caters to both.  Some of our participants may be in official positions of leadership, and others will be doing leadership on the ground, although they may not yet identify themselves as leaders.  We specifically recruit for diversity and are strongly committed to broad representation from across sectors, age groups, world views and life experience, and from across the region. The diversity of the mix of our participants is one of the key strengths and learning opportunities of the program. Exposure to the issues, presenters, skills and networks will enhance your business management skills if that is your field, but this is not our primary intention.  Communities need people of ‘all stripes’ to be better skilled, better networked and more self-aware in order to become more vibrant, inclusive, innovative and sustainable.  The flow on benefits of this to regional economies and healthy communities is significant.  This is our aim.

I don’t really consider myself to be a ‘leader’, should I apply?

Yes!  See above.

What issues and skills are covered as part of the program?

LMCLP is a transformational program, delivered over 10 months to support participant’s personal and professional development.

Our guiding principles include:

  • Understanding leadership styles and behaviours and how to influence others in complex environments.
  • Build peer relationships and provide the opportunity to explore the more challenging aspects of leadership in small groups.
  • Story based learning – immersing participants in real time community leadership. Hearing insights from practitioners, on their land, creating change with their people and community.
  • Deep reflective processes to identify strengths and weaknesses and pathways to personal growth.
  • Connecting emerging leaders across sectors and generations and building meaningful relationships.
  • Giving back through powerful community projects.

The principles and objectives are too similar- please choose or the other and add any from the list that are different.

What is the time commitment?

The program year involves a total of 22 days over a ten-month period (February to November).  The opening, closing and mid-year weekend retreats plus the Canberra Study Tour are compulsory. Participants are required to attend an 80% minimum of program days and complete all evaluation requirements (after every program day) and undertake a community project to graduate. Program days generally run between 8.30am and 5.30pm, with travel time on top of this. Evening sessions are organised in conjunction with overnight stays.

Travel & accommodation?

Your accommodation costs are covered for overnight stays between program days (eg: retreats, study tours and two-day programs).  This involves shared accommodation (no sharing across genders) and sometimes fairly basic accommodation. Travel costs are not covered and it is the participants’ responsibility to get themselves to the program day venues by the start time and they are required to stay until the conclusion of the program day. Combined with travel this can sometimes involve long days and it is recommended that participants carpool wherever possible and consider overnight accommodation prior to program days if they are far from your home.  Where individuals decide to travel up a night before the program to assist with the long days, it is their responsibility to cover any costs associated.  If you do not have access to your own transport, please let the program manager know and we will try to find a way to accommodate you.
Travel to and from Canberra is provided as part of program.

What time input is required between program days?

There is some time required between program days; this may involve some research on topics and speakers, completing the evaluation/reflection and other small leadership/group activities.
Participants will be involved in ‘Duty Teams’ 3-4 times during the year.  This involves being part of a team of 4 participants whose responsibility it is to run the program days. This includes confirming, introducing and thanking speakers, keeping sessions to time and other small tasks which will be briefed. On these occasions more work will be required between days.  This is considered an opportunity to enhance the learning/experience from the program. Participants will also be required to complete a community project within 6 months of graduation.

How much does it cost?

Participation fees are structured so that there is an individual and organisational component and tiered to enable a diverse range of people to apply.

Self-Funded $1,815

Community Organisations (Not for profit with less than 100 staff) $2,200

Employer/Corporate $7,700

Participants are asked to make an individual contribution of $330 each.

Some fully funded places are provided through the generous support of our program sponsors.

Who can apply?

Applications are encouraged from men and women over the age of 18 who have a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. The program strives for diversity through representation from the agriculture, business, government and community sectors. Residents or workers in the shires of Buloke, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Gannawarra, Hepburn, Loddon, Mount Alexander, Macedon Ranges and Northern Grampians, or the cities of Bendigo and Swan Hill, are eligible to apply. No prior learning is required. We are seeking people who have a demonstrated commitment to their community, region or industry and a willingness to learn.

How can I apply?

Click here to apply


Email: [email protected] if you have any difficulties or questions.

How do I apply for a Scholarship?

We have a number of scholarships available from year to year.  They are often attached to a particular geographical region, industry or other specific criteria such as supporting diversity or specific knowledge.

You do not apply for a particular scholarship.  Please note in your application if you would like to be considered for a scholarship, and whether your application is dependent upon receiving a scholarship.  Scholarships are assessed and allocated at the discretion of the LEAD Loddon Murray selection committee, after all applications have been received and processed, according to meeting of scholarship criteria, best fit and need.  You will find out whether you have been successful for a scholarship upon receipt of your offer, should you be successful.

A scholarship will cover the participation fee (participant must pay $330 commitment fee) and totally sponsor their activities throughout the program.  In return, scholarship recipients are asked to sign an agreement to provide written reports back to their sponsor and also to speak at sponsor functions if required.

What happens after the closing date?

Your application will be acknowledged by e-mail, reviewed and you may be invited to attend an interview in October or November.  The interview is a chance for you to find out more about the program as well as for our interview panel to determine your suitability for the program. The interview will take about 30 minutes. Please note that we receive a high volume of applications for this highly sought after opportunity and applicants will be shortlisted for interviews.

Applicants who are invited to attend an interview will be required to travel to their closest interview location. Up to 25 applicants will be sent a letter of acceptance by early December. All documentation must be signed and returned with the participation fee to confirm the offered place.

What is meant by graduation?

LMCLP does not offer accredited training; however, it is considered a great honour and privilege to become a graduate of the program and part of an influential network of 460+ graduates across central and north-west Victoria, and a state wide network of 10 regional community leadership programs. LMCLP is highly regarded by many regional organisations and will be a respected addition to your curriculum vitae and your professional development record.

Graduate names are retained on a database and kept informed of additional opportunities for professional development and community investment.  In order to graduate, each participant must attend all the compulsory components of the program and achieve 80% attendance overall. A graduation ceremony is held at the completion of the program.

What support is offered during the program?

In addition to the support of the Program Manager, LMCLP there is a mentor program, where graduates of the program, who can offer advice and act as a sounding board for ideas can be matched up with participants. Participants find that they also support each other during the program year.

What does the community project involve?

Participants are required to develop a community based project. This may be undertaken individually or as part of a group. It can be a new initiative or something in which you are currently involved. These projects give participants the opportunity to engage with their communities and develop their skills. Support and guidance is provided to assist with choosing a community project throughout the program.  The aim of the project is to give participants the opportunity to get involved in their community and use some of the skills, information and networks developed during the program.  There is a requirement for you to write a project plan by June and do a presentation to a panel at the mid year retreat and final weekend about your project.

Do I need to be able to use the internet and other technology?

Yes, there is a requirement that all participants can gain access to the internet on a regular basis (even at the local library) between program days.  Email, group Facebook and an internet sharing site are used to evaluate the program, share information and update participants between program days.  We also use online resources to enrich the learning experience. Please do not let this stop you from applying. As long as you can get access to the internet and are willing to learn, we can help.