GROWING up in regional Western Australia, Jennie Courtney noticed a lot of the same sorts of issues still playing out in regional communities across Australia.
Now, Ms Courtney has the chance to lead an “activation of do-ers” as Leadership Ballarat and Western Region’s new chief executive.
It is a role that excites Ms Courtney, whose background is in working with university alumni and careers development. Connecting the right people to the right projects.
“I’ve always worked in bring together outside world within the university, engaging different perspectives,” Ms Courtney said. “...(LBWR)’s current focus is on homelessness and its about keeping conversations going, and people tapped in, facilitating creativity and innovation about the community.
“Leadership isn’t just bosses. It’s about showing leadership in whatever area of life is your passion.”
Ms Courtney officially started in the Ballarat Technology Park Central offices in the past fortnight but was involved in the Think Tank Halving Homelessness forum. She was focused on encouraging people to think outside the square on different approaches to old issues, and feel empowered to be a catalyst for change.
Her desk has to-do notes for an upcoming LBWR Leaders Forum annual trip to Canberra for a federal insight on tackling issues.
Ms Courtney’s creative and analytical perspective was fostered in her university drama and cultural studies, including time at Victorian College of the Arts. A qualified drama teacher, Ms Courtney has never taught the subject, instead finding her way into university student recruitment and marketing. She arrives in Ballarat after seven years in such roles with the University of Oxford in England.
Ms Courtney and her husband, Australian historian Ben Mountford, always had a sense they would move back to Victoria. Ballarat had a similar regional vibe, not far from a major city, as Oxford and their hometown Bunbury.
As an added bonus, her husband’s specialty was in history of the Victorian goldfields, so Ballarat felt the perfect fit.