Leading in Longreach

Community stories: 26 October 2020

When the opportunity arose to provide the locals in Longreach and surrounding areas with leadership development and networking opportunities, Red Ridge Interior jumped at it – particularly, if it could be done in a way that allowed people to participate regardless of their financial means. Three years on, and the program is more successful than ever.

Leadership development is much more than learning how to run a meeting and pitch an idea. It involves building skills in developing positive interpersonal relationships, managing change and conflict, giving and receiving feedback, values-based actions and being open, honest and trusted. These skills are important for everyone, and they allow more individuals to support each other, particularly when times are tough.  

Thanks to a $14,500 grant from the Tackling Tough Times Together program, which was co-funded by Qantas Foundation and Friends of FRRR, Red Ridge Interior was able to ensure that everyone could access leadership development and training and build these important skills. This grant allowed Red Ridge Interior to hire a space, provide catering and pay for a leadership coach and facilitator to come to Longreach for three days to deliver the program. Twenty people participated in the program.

Participants spent three days covering a number of leadership theories and putting them into practice. Some of the topics they covered included Colour Spectrum model of leadership, values in action, understanding change, communication and deep listening, time management, goal setting and more.

Participants also had the opportunity to attend an ‘alumni’ day which brought together participants from the past three years of the program to meet, discuss what they had learnt and the real-world applications. This also gave them opportunities to connect with other leaders in their communities that were experiencing similar challenges and offered opportunities for mentorship.

Participants got a great deal out of the workshops. One said of the experience, “I have learnt about who I am as a leader, where my strengths are and where I need to work harder. I have learnt so much and have gained so much for myself, my family, my work and hopefully my community.” 

Another said: “I learnt about my strengths and weaknesses and knowledge of each individual having their own strengths and weaknesses. Leadership is utilising everyone to achieve.”