Leadership Ballarat Western Region: learning courage in leadership

SHARING: LBWR's Leaders Forum spend an afternoon with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Ballarat MP Catherine King, exploring leadership.
SHARING: LBWR's Leaders Forum spend an afternoon with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Ballarat MP Catherine King, exploring leadership.

WATCHING our nation’s leaders in action, and travelling around Canberra, made clear for fashion blogger Liana Skewes that anybody could make a big, positive impact.

It just took courage.

Leadership Ballarat Western Region Leaders’ Forum’s annual Canberra visit has challenged each participant in how they think and act in their own communities.

For Ms Skewes, it has been in considering all aspects of what makes a democracy and how this fits in the bigger national picture.

This could be from spotting familiar names in the National War Memorial and tilts to her hometown, like naval ship HMAS Ballarat to meeting Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Ballarat federal MP Catherine King at Parliament House.

“It makes you think about things like courage and different forms of courage,” Ms Skewes said. “There are the men and women who have sacrificed so much in war-time and their leadership, voluntarily and involuntarily, to make a difference.

“Then you go somewhere like question time, where normal human beings are lobbying for the people they represent...you can understand how every member of society can contribute to advancing society.”

Catherine King hosted the group of emerging community leaders for the short visit. This also included an audience with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove for afternoon tea, meetings with other MPs and visits to key historic sites like Old Parliament House.

Ray White Ballarat’s Will Munro said it was a good chance to see how Australian history and the actions of Australian leaders continue to filter into today’s society.

The experience had definitely made Mr Munro consider how he could get more involved in Ballarat.

“I think there is a misconception change happens quickly, but it does take work and does take time,” Mr Munro said. “People need a bit a of long term vision, but this has shown me things eventually take place if you given them time and work through it.”

LBWR Leaders Forum meets fortnightly and has special events, like Canberra.