LEADING THE WAY: Todd Newton and Annabel Sides during their visit to Brown Brothers Winery at Millawa Victoria as part of the program.TWO Inverell residents have been selected for an intensive leadership development program with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Annabel Sides and Todd Newton are joining 31 leaders from across the country in theprogram thataims to produce a network of informed, capable and motivated leaders to work collaboratively within their communities andadvance the interests of rural and regional Australia.

Mr Newton, who is the Technical Manager for Bindaree Beef Group, said the program commenced with a 12-day experience in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

“The course has been a wonderful experience,in particular the Kimberley session which provided an opportunity to challenge and test myself outside my comfort zonewhile exploring my personal beliefs, values and leadership style,” he said.

Upon returning from the Kimberley the group met in Melbourne late last year where they undertook media and communication training directed by journalists from the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

A further session has just been completed in north east Victoria where the group experienced first-hand insights into community and regional leadership with the intent of gaining inspiration and skills relevant to their own leadership development.

Mr Sides is Manager of Business and Finance for Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and said the program, which is in its 25thyear, was both challenging and rewarding.

“This program has provided me with one of the most challenging and exciting experiences ever,” she said.

“Previous participants have inspired me enormously and I truly believe the ARLF are serious about increasing leadership capacity in rural and regional Australia and I’m excited to be part of that.

“I hope one day to be able to give back all I have learned.”

ARLF Manager for Leadership Programs Graham Smith said the sessions are aimed at stripping distractions to hone leadership skills.

“The Kimberley location is importantas it takes participants away from day to day distractions and the technology we’re so often hooked to in day-to-day lifeand gets our leaders exploring personal values, leadership attributes and team work,” he said.

Mr Smith said the group would travel to Indonesia in May this year.

The overseas experience will be designed to develop the participants’ international networks and exploringcultural differences prior to a final graduation in Canberra later this year.

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