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2 August, 2021

Applications open for mentoring program

The Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Drought Resilience Leaders Program is seeking rural professionals and farmers from across Australia to participate in the Drought Resilience Mentoring Program.

The launching of the Future Drought Fund Drought Resilience Leaders Program, from left: ARLF Chief Executive Matt Linnegar, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud and emerging leaders Jo Treasure and Oli Le Lievre.

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) has been appointed by the Australian Government, along with key partners, to deliver the Future Drought Fund’s Drought Resilience Leaders Program, an initiative designed to strengthen the future of regional communities through capacity building and collaboration.

ARLF Chief Executive Matt Linnegar said the program provides participants with the opportunity to learn from one another and those with experience and expertise in the areas of climate science, resilience, wellbeing and agricultural practice. 

“It’s an opportunity to connect experience and innovation with ideas and opportunities,” Mr Linnegar said.

The Drought Resilience Mentoring Program will commence with inductions in October 2021 and November 2021, with mentoring sessions held between January 2022 and June 2022. 

The Program will also feature eight webinars, which are open to everyone, and cover topics relevant to strengthening drought and climate resilience, agriculture and regional Australia. 

The first four webinars are scheduled to roll out between August 2021 and November 2021, with the remaining four webinars to be held in the first half of 2022. 

Mr Linnegar said with the mentoring program conducted primarily online and inclusive of all agricultural industries, the program is a truly national initiative. 

“Wherever you are in Australia, take the opportunity to sign up as a mentee or a mentor and invest in yourself, your business and your region,” he said.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program was a way for rural professionals and farmers to connect.

“This program will bring together hundreds of mentors and mentees.

“It’s essential in linking together skills and shared experiences to ultimately support communities to be better prepared for future droughts,” Mr Littleproud said.

Mentors can be farmers, drought professionals, climate professionals, or people connected to the agricultural sector.

Mr Littleproud said farmers learn from each other and from their local communities. 

“This is a chance for them to share this knowledge with the next generation,” he said.

“By embracing new ideas and learning from the broader community, this program will build a network across the country of community-based drought resilience.”

The Australian Govern-ment established the Future Drought Fund to provide a sustainable source of funding to help Australian farmers and communities prepare for and respond to the impacts of drought. 

The Future Drought Fund is investing $11.45 million in the Drought Resilience Leaders Program, of which $7.45 million is being used to roll out the foundational program, led by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) in collaboration with a consortium of partners.

To find out more about the program and to apply, as a mentee or mentor, visit Rural Leaders.

Applications close on 31 August.

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