Grad Cert of Australian Rural Leadership
One of a Kind: JCU and the Graduate Certificate of Australian Rural Leadership
The Graduate Certificate of Australian Rural Leadership is the result of a unique partnership forged between James Cook University (JCU) and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
It provides invaluable recognition of the Foundation’s iconic Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP), and embodies a shared commitment to rural Australia and its resilience, as well as to the highest of academic standards.
Graduates of the 18th cohort of the ARLP became the first to receive the certificate in September 2012. Now, all alumni have the opportunity to also undertake further study.
Initially, Foundation CEO Dr Lesley Fitzpatrick encountered difficulty finding a university that would recognise and accommodate the Foundation’s approach to education, and adapt to the practical constraints of a program that runs over a 17-month period.
After a meeting with Professor Sandra Harding, Vice Chancellor of JCU, Lesley was introduced to Andy Vann, who was then the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University. With Andy’s help, a partnership was forged that has resulted in the development of two models of a Graduate Certificate of Australian Rural Leadership.
The first was developed for current ARLP participants, where they undertake some additional activities whilst engaged in their leadership program. Fourteen ARLP Course 19 graduates have now also completed the Graduate Certificate while on course.
The second adaptation engages existing graduates of the ARLP. Two subjects were developed and written by Jennifer Andrew from the Foundation. Jennifer also teaches the program and provides support to the alumni students as they delve into the subjects of socially responsible rural leadership and rural leadership in practice. The subjects have been specifically organised to enable students to engage through relevant work or community issues.
Peter Case, Professor of Management and Organisation Studies in the School of Business at JCU, has been pivotal in making certain that the Graduate Certificate of Australian Rural Leadership reflects and is consistent with the Foundation’s philosophy of leadership and education.
“Having experienced part of the ARLP with Course 18, I have seen for myself the significant benefits, in terms of leadership learning and practice, that can come from the Foundation’s ARLP participants and graduates undertaking the Graduate Certificate of Australian Rural Leadership,” Peter said.
Richard Franklin graduated from ARLP Course 19 in September 2013, and says that achieving the graduate certificate rounded off a wonderful experience.
Being an Associate Professor at JCU, with a role focusing on injury prevention for rural, remote and tropical populations, means his experiences and achievements have also flowed directly back into his work.
“Being on the program has allowed me to be an advocate for the graduate certificate and have in-depth discussions with participants about the value of a University degree," Richard said.
“I also believe that in years to come many of the participants will be in key positions in Australia, and JCU will be able to talk about these people as graduates of the University and how it, in a small way, contributed to the success of these individuals,” he said.
Jane Milburn graduated from ARLP Course 16 in 2010 and has since opted to undertake the second adaptation of the graduate certificate available to ARLP Alumni.
“The grad cert is an opportunity to drill-down into what really is going on with yourself and your leadership – in the interests of making your best contribution," Jane said.
And, the ARLP Fellow said she would recommend the graduate certificate as an opportunity all ARLP participants and graduates should seize.
“It takes a little more effort for alumni and a small financial investment, but the grad cert takes the ARLP to the next level. The academic rigour, analysis and feedback provide professional polish to the ARLP experience.”
James Cook University and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation are currently offering graduates of the ARLP the opportunity to apply to undertake a Graduate Certificate of Australian Rural Leadership.
Expressions of interest must be received by Thursday, 19 December 2013.