Challenging perspective in Leadership Ballarat Western Region's Leaders Forum

INITIALLY, Kim O’Neill had not realised how much her approach to work, particularly how she interacted with colleagues, had changed.

EMERGING: Centacare's Kim O'Neill has a fresh outlook on what it takes and means to lead community change from the 2016 LBWR Leaders Forum. Picture: Kate Healy

EMERGING: Centacare's Kim O'Neill has a fresh outlook on what it takes and means to lead community change from the 2016 LBWR Leaders Forum. Picture: Kate Healy

Then Ms O’Neill started to notice little changes in her language or how she tackled an issue.

Ms O’Neill is an intake worker with Centacare in Ballarat. Her managers suggested she apply for the annual Leadership Ballarat Western Region Leaders Forum, a 12-month program that draws together emerging leaders across community sectors to challenge how they think and act.

The diversity and passion of participants is what Ms O’Neill said was the program’s strength.

“Personally, I grew seeing the community from different perspective,” Ms O’Neill said. “You do the program alongside people from different parts of the community and all the experts you hear from on program days have a wealth of knowledge.

“You don’t get a chance very often to meet these kind of people.”

Leaders Forum features fortnightly sessions (full-day or evening) and special events, including a trip to Canberra.

Ms O’Neill loved learning how Indi MP Cathy McGowan became involved in politics in a regional area. An excursion to Langi Kal Kal, and time spent speaking with inmates, proved a powerful experience, sparking conversations and new perceptions on how to deal with justice.

LBWR executive officer Jennie Courtney said the program was about developing and inspiring emerging leaders to drive positive collaboration and change across the region. 

“We will focus on developing the person – looking at their personality type, communication styles, values, beliefs, and thinking preferences,” Ms Courtney said.

“We continually provide participants with opportunities to challenge their existing ways of thinking and create new approaches to understanding complex situations and problem solving. Participants will also explore the complexities of our key regional employment sectors.”

Applications for LBWR’s 2017 program close on November 25.

Visit lbwr.org for details.