PREMIER Denis Napthine and Gardiner Foundation chief executive Mary Harney gave tips on effective leadership to 15 participants in the Leadership Great South Coast program when they visited State Parliament.
The program’s executive officer Amanda Hennessy said Ms Harney’s presentation resonated with the participants, giving a clear message about resilience and practising active “followership”, not just leadership.
Ms Harney reminded participants that ordinary people did extraordinary things and challenged them to follow their passions.
The Gardiner Foundation invests in projects that have significant impact for the Victorian dairy industry and the wider community.
Ms Hennessy said the visit to State Parliament was a huge success and provided participants with opportunities to not only broaden their understanding of the Victorian Parliament’s structures and processes but to also network on an informal level.
The participants had a question-and-answer session with state government principal media adviser Martin Barr about state and federal political structures and the role of the media in reporting on and influencing political leadership.
The day also included lunch with Premier Napthine, Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder, and Western Victoria upper house members David O’Brien and Simon Ramsay.
The politicians were questioned by the participants on a range of topics from political leadership, including their personal motivations and goals, to policy.
They discussed key projects for the Great South Coast and Geelong regions, including roads, ports and airports.
Ms Hennessy said the politicians were generous with their time and the participants were particularly impressed by the candid approach of Dr Napthine and Mr O’Brien.
One of the participants, Clint Larkins, said the group gained most from presenters when they spoke about their personal feelings and motivations for leadership.
Leadership Great South Coast provides an annual community leadership program for 25 aspiring and emerging leaders. Participants are drawn from the business, community and government sectors in the Great South Coast region.
Participants meet throughout the year to discuss issues such as ethics and communication and to learn about the south-west’s economy.