A central Victorian organisation aimed at building community leadership capacity has launched a strategy to create regional communities in charge of their own futures.
LEAD Loddon Murray's 10-year strategy for self-determination outlines actions that include diversifying leadership programs to reach a broader audience, building 'town teams' to guide change in communities, and supporting program graduates' ability to lead through courses, events and coaching.
"Our work is about encouraging people and strengthening their skills, their knowledge and their networks so they can be more effective volunteer community leaders," executive officer Leah Sertori said.
By 2030, LEAD Loddon Murray wants to be a central hub that connects grassroots initiatives with 'big picture' thinking and collaborative projects.
Ms Sertori said the strategy for self-determination was about "giving communities the confidence and capability to determine their own destiny", which meant leaders who could mobilise people and resources, and be advocates.
"Rather than complaining or waiting for government to address complex challenges in regional communities, this is about supporting our graduates to capture a longer-term plan for their communities and advocate on their behalf," she said.
LEAD Loddon Murray has grown from delivering one leadership program - its flagship Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program - to five, including one focused on adapting to climate change, another on leaders for a sustainable Bendigo, Leading Excellence Maryborough, and LOUD retreats for LGBTI leaders.
In the long term, Ms Sertori said, LEAD Loddon Murray planned to link community leaders up to one another to share experiences and build on each others' strengths to support their wellbeing, sustainability and adaptation to climate change.
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