Welcome to Issue 1 of Northern Mallee Leaders 2018 e-news
Welcome to the first NML newsletter for 2018, whilst it is a little delayed it is certainly not due to idle hands.  NML has hit the ground running this year welcoming two new members of staff, Nardia Sheriff has taken on our Program Manager’s role after we said a fond farewell to Rod at the end of 2017, and we also welcome Carrie Dichiera into the newly created role of Business Support Officer. Both Nardia and Carrie have taken the bull by the horns so to speak jumping straight into the launch of the 2018 Program and haven’t looked back.  Nardia and Carrie are themselves no strangers to NML having both participated in the program in 2009 and 2008 respectively.  It is wonderful to see our Alumni being able to add such value to the organisation and we wish them both the very best of luck.

A Word From Our Program Manager

As a graduate of the 2009 NML Program, it is a huge honour to be able to step into the role as the new Program Manager.  My experience as a participant was an empowering and positive one, and as a newcomer to the region it really set the foundation for my future community involvement.
I’m thrilled that I now get the opportunity to create that environment and experience for our new group of participants who have certainly hit the ground running and embraced everything that this program has thrown at them already.
It’s hard to believe that we are already at the end of April and that our participants have undertaken their Opening Retreat and experienced several program days. With a full schedule still before us, it’s impressive to see how connected and open-minded this group of participants has become at this early stage, and I have no doubt that the growth we have already seen is only the beginning.
“You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself belonging to it and responsible for changing it.”
Grace Lee Boggs
There are thousands of quotes about leadership and many more about community, but for me, this quote inspired me to embrace my new community, be proactive within it and look through the lens of possibility. It is my hope that I can inspire that same sense of connection and possibility in this year’s participants and facilitate the belief that they too can make the changes that they wish to see in the world.
As NML Inc. continues to grow, not just in years but also in the size of our alumni and staff, it’s exciting to still be a part of it and I can’t wait to explore the possibilities together.


The 2018 Program is well underway with this year’s 21 participants having actively participated in our Launch, Opening Retreat Weekend at Lake Cullulleraine, 3 full program days and The Arts & Culture Dinner.  The program is providing the group with many opportunities for growth and development and our participants are welcoming the challenges they are presented with, with open arms.
The NML Program Launch was held on Thursday 8th February 2018 in the Benetook Room of the Alfred Deakin Centre. With over 90 people in attendance, it was a wonderful collective that helped to welcome our new participants for the 2018 program year. Rachelle Towart, CEO of Pipeline Talent, attended as our guest speaker for the evening and shared with us stories from her journey, from childhood through to present day, and how her experiences have helped to shape her as a leader, not just within her local community, but nationally as well. We are incredibly grateful to Rachelle for taking the time away from her family to spend the evening with us and inspiring our new group of leaders. Special thank yous also need to go to Bianca Spooner (NML 2017) for her contribution as MC for evening and to Yigal Kitchen Catering and Sunraysia Cellar Door for tending to our food and beverage needs. Thank you also to everyone who attended and we look forward to seeing you throughout the year at our other upcoming events.

From Our Executive Officer

“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself”
Eleanor Roosevelt
Ethical Leadership is newsworthy right now. We define ethics as knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. Hence, Ethical Leadership is leadership directed by respect or ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and rights of others. It is about trust, fairness and honesty. 
For NML, 2018 has commenced with an exciting start to the year as we welcome two new staff members to our team – Program Manager, Nardia Sheriff and Business Support Officer, Carrie Dichiera. We welcome back Paula Robinson as our Alumni Program Manager who is well underway with a continuing leadership development program for our 141 graduates!
The 2018 Northern Mallee Leadership Program is up and running with 21 people commencing their leadership journey. We have an incredible group this year, very supportive and diverse and willingly taking on the challenges and opportunities every moment the program affords.
This year the NML Committee of Management is part of developing a strong advocacy momentum for future funding post-2019 across regional Victoria leading into the state election. Our stakeholders lead by MRCC are also advocating strongly to ensure we continue to provide this amazing program and other leadership activities for the development and growth of our region.
NML need all our local supporters to be ‘loud and proud’ advocates through their networks at every opportunity in building leadership capacity by expanding our pool of local leaders. We need to ensure a future for NML post-2019 as the peak community and business leadership organisation for our region.
Jen Grigg
Executive Officer

Alumni News

With the addition of the 2017 Graduates, the NML Alumni now number 141.  This growing group of skilled individuals continue to step up in community roles and responsibilities and put what they have learnt through the NML Program into action. 
Some examples are:
  • Bianca Spooner (NMLP 2017) who took on the role of as MC of the Mildura Rural City Council Australia Day celebrations and the 2018 NMLP Launch
  • Kerry Thompson (NMLP 2014) as Events Manager for the Commonwealth Games Baton relay which recently passed through the region
  • Aleesha Davis (NMLP 2016) being named joint Young Citizen of the Year in the MRCC Awards for her contributions to the community
  • Rebecca Wells (NMLP 2009) taking on a role on the Community Bank National Council
  • Giovanni Barbera (NMLP 2017) being elected to lead Slow Food Mildura
 I am also pleased to be working with Carrie Dichiera (NMLP 2008) and Nardia Sheriff (NMLP 2009) as they join the staff of NML this year. Congratulations to these and others who are continuing their leadership journeys.
The year has begun well with Alumni participation in the 2018 NML Program Launch; a joint event with Mildura Young Professionals Network to discuss future opportunities for our region and a mentoring program for the 2018 NML Participants.
The NML Alumni Committee has three new members in 2018.  We welcome Trudy Scott, Shiva Neiker and Traci Pevi all from 2017 cohort.  They join ongoing members Amy Nash, Scott Barnes, Elvira Mazza and Kellie Coff. Thank you to departing members Narelle Tomlinson, Ross Taylor and Jamie Duffy for their contribution.
I look forward to working with this committee, all Alumni and staff to continue to build on the contribution this organisation can make to our communities in 2018.


AICD Company Directors Course

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) is Australia’s leading provider of governance education and development programs, governance assessment services and board advisory services. For the month of May, NML is hosting the AICD Company Directors Course with 26 local participants enrolled. For further enquiries please contact Jen Grigg –

Vision of The Region Dinner

On Wednesday 23rd May, 2018 we will be holding our annual Vision of the Region Dinner at The Botanica, Mildura.  Be sure to make a note in your diary for this not to be missed event. Stay tuned to our Facebook page where we will provide more details soon! 

NML Inc. acknowledge and thank their major sponsors

With special thanks to our Program Sponsors

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