Grains Research and Development

Date: 29.06.2015

Rural leaders step out

Image of a couple of women leaning on a fence

ARLP 2015-16 participant Denise McLellan (right) with GRDC Southern Regional Panel member Susan Findlay Tickner, who undertook the program in 2008-09.

Two grains industry professionals have begun the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) for 2015-16 with support from the GRDC.

Denise McLellan from Horsham, Victoria, and Darren Arney from Nairne, South Australia, have joined 28 others, representing a range of industries and communities, in the 22nd cycle of the program.

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation’s flagship program has been developing leaders for rural and regional Australia for more than 20 years. It is designed to help participants become more effective and influential by extending their knowledge, understanding and capabilities, particularly around leadership and the drivers that shape rural Australia.

Mrs McLellan, who operates the farming and contracting business Bengalee, says she is looking forward to “stepping beyond the farm gate” to learn leadership skills and also develop the intangible skills that come from engaging with other leaders.

“Learning from others is important personally but I think it’s also important for the grains industry if it’s going to see continual innovation,” she says.

Past GRDC-backed graduates have cited access to leader networks, increased confidence and a better understanding of key issues affecting the rural sector as major benefits of ARLP participation.  

One of those, GRDC Southern Regional Panel member Susan Findlay Tickner, who undertook the ARLP in 2008-09, expects Mrs McLellan and Mr Arney to reap enormous benefits from their involvement.

“Denise and Darren will have access to the captains of industry from across the agricultural sector. The program is a terrific vehicle for our industry to develop the next cohort of leaders that will take us forward.”

Mr Arney, Grain Producers SA chief executive, says he will use the ARLP to better advocate for the needs of SA growers with government and industry.

An agronomist and former bank manager, Mr Arney says he has a “very corporate and risk-focused approach” to his work. “In my role it’s important to have a vision and bring people along with you. So I think the communication skills I’ll develop will help deliver results for growers,” he says.

Applications for ARLP Course 23, which will operate from August 2016 to October 2017, close on 31 August 2015.

More information:

Australian Rural Leadership Foundation

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GRDC Project Code ARL00008

Region South