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Leadership reinvigoration with TRAILblazers

Leadership reinvigoration with TRAILblazers

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation has delivered its second TRAILblazers program for 2015. From 24-31 October, ten experienced leaders came together for the eight-day experiential program, which takes place in Canberra and regional New South Wales.

The program is customised for seasoned leaders, and designed to afford a recalibration and reinvigoration of leadership goals, while examining approaches to complex challenges.

This TRAILblazers cohort included Ned McCord, Executive Director of Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School; Adam Bluhm, Group Operations Manager for the Tradies Group Canberra; Wendy De Luca, Course Director, Adult and Vocational Education at Charles Sturt University; Patrick Moase, General Manager of Clipper Pearls; Ian Davies, General Manager Agriculture with Wilmar Sugar Australia; Mungo O'Brien, Regional General Manager with Westpac Banking Corporation; Hamish McIntyre, Principal, McIntyre and Moolabah Agriculture and Mathew Steinert; Stephen Purkis and Matthew Wells, all Regional General Managers with Westpac.

With diverse professional backgrounds, but a shared sense of the challenges and opportunities associated with leadership, the latest TRAILblazers group relished a chance to re-focus their goals and examine the best ways to engage communities and industries.

Program facilitator Zoe Routh said this TRAILblazers cohort brought a lot to the table, combining fun with "deep learning."

"This TRAILblazers group knew how to have a laugh," Zoe said.
"Through tough, confusing times in the experiential phase through to the more theoretical creative thinking workshop, the opportunity for laughter was never far away.
"Each individual showed a strong commitment to their work and the people they served - whether it was the educational development of young Aboriginal kids on exchange with Wesley college (ARLP Fellow Ned McCord), or Westpac rural banking engagement in community (Matt Wells, Mungo O'Brien, Matthew Steinert, Stephen Purkis), or Tradies Group Operations and the development of service to the Canberra community (Adam Bluhm) or adult education in regional Australia (Wendy De Luca), or pearl industry development (Patrick Moase), or the future of agri-business (Hamish McIntyre and Ian Davies - cotton and sugar respectively)," Zoe observed.
"There were peaks and troughs through the group experience, with all taking key strategies and insights about their leadership thinking, through to the next level."
Zoe said the TRAILblazers program takes a vigorous approach, with a great mix of challenging content.
"I for one thoroughly enjoyed it, and feel privileged to have been in the company of ten fine leaders," Zoe said.

These leaders will form a collaborative network going forward, acting as support and sounding boards as they continue to access one another's experience and expertise.

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