Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Networks to Build Drought Resilience and Drought Resilience Leaders

FRRR will soon be providing increased support into remote, rural and regional communities to prepare for the impacts of drought, after being selected by the Australian Government to deliver its Networks to Build Drought Resilience program. FRRR is also part of a consortium delivering the Drought Resilience Leaders program.

Funded through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund, both programs will help remote, rural and regional people access the tools, skills and support to build and foster leader networks, and to develop and roll out drought resilience initiatives in their communities.

The Networks to Build Drought Resilience (NBDR) program will help people in agricultural communities to develop skills, participate in risk management planning, and foster projects that encourage connectedness and improve wellbeing. It will also support small-scale infrastructure projects to make community facilities drought resilient to increase overall wellbeing and reduce social isolation.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program will support future-focussed initiatives led by local community groups and network organisations that play such a vital role in local and regional resilience

“Networks and community leadership are the backbone of strong, vibrant communities and are essential to ensuring future preparedness for drought and the associated social, economic, environmental impacts that can be so devastating for remote, rural, and regional communities.

“This is an exciting opportunity for building drought resilience from the ground up and we look forward to supporting the fantastic ideas and solutions that we know are ready to go across the country,” Ms Egleton said.

Through the Drought Resilience Leaders (DRL) program rural leaders will be able to access training and support that will help them to develop and undertake a project to build drought resilience in their communities. Partnering with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) and the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE), FRRR will manage a grants stream that will allow leadership program participants and their communities to activate their community-strengthening ideas.

Ms Egleton said that this program means more opportunities for local people to take the lead in finding meaningful and tailored solutions for their community’s increased climate resilience.

“Local leaders know how to get things done. They know how to bring people together, to motivate and to problem-solve. Backing these leaders is key to ensuring the long-term vitality of Australia’s remote, rural and regional communities, particularly those battling drought.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the ARLF and RECoE to provide these local leaders with access to such invaluable training and help them to bring their drought resilience projects to life,” Ms Egleton said.

For more information visit
The Hon David Littleproud MP – https://minister.awe.gov.au/littleproud/media-releases/drought-leaders-networks-programs
Australian Rural Leadership Foundation – https://rural-leaders.org.au/arlf-to-lead-consortia-to-deliver-drought-program/ 

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.”