What does it mean to lead?

AWARENESS: Leaders Damian Hetherington, Kasey Chapman, Warwick Smith say they are learning more about themselves from each other. Picture: Lachlan Bence

AWARENESS: Leaders Damian Hetherington, Kasey Chapman, Warwick Smith say they are learning more about themselves from each other. Picture: Lachlan Bence

IN EXPLORING what it means to lead, a group of the city’s emerging leaders found strong inspiration in each other.

Indigenous scholarship holder Kasey Chapman said being part of the Leadership Ballarat Western Region Leaders’ Forum had offered her a greater sense of community connection and a chance to create more awareness for the region’s indigenous people.

“The forum gets you thinking about a lot of things. I really found it has been amazing for growth in my personal life and that, in turn, rolls into my professional life,” Ms Chapman said. 

“I loved Heritage Day and the opening retreat, these really helped connect with everyone and you find they have the same values.”

Ms Chapman is a case manager for the Justice and Regulation Department. The 10-month forum draws together emerging leaders from across diverse community sectors, challenging how they think and act.

Reid’s Guest House manager Warwick Smith, as a Uniting Ballarat employee, works closely in social welfare across the region. Mr Smith started the forum without any expectations, only a determination to challenge himself.

“It has really opened my eyes to what other people are doing in Ballarat, especially in technology like what Gekko is doing or wind turbines at Waubra – other stuff going on that you might not always realise,” Mr Smith said. 

The Courier is a LBWR Leaders Forum sponsor with sales manager Damian Hetherington a member of this year’s program. Mr Hetherington said the forum was an important way for The Courier, like other businesses, to better understand local voices of this community.

“We can all get very insular in our businesses but there has been so much great experience in the group because there is such a wide network,” Mr Hetherington said. “You can share what challenges you have..I am getting so much out of meeting them all.”

The program includes fortnight sessions, invitations to community forums and trips to state and federal parliaments. Applications are open for the 2018 intake. Details: www.lbwr.org.