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Welcome to Issue 3 of NML Inc. 2018 E-News
We have a jam packed issue for you this quarter; we delve into what our very busy participants have been up to, share some fantastic upcoming events, including community projects from our graduates, and we are very pleased to now have open applications for the 2019 NML Program, read on…

Jenny Grigg
NML Executive Officer
"It's not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs” - Vaclav Havel

VRCLP Combined Program Day

Over 160 people participated in the annual Victorian Regional Leadership Community Programs (VRCLP) Combined Program Day held at the MCG in Melbourne on September 18. NML Inc was represented by our Program Manager, Nardia Sheriff and 2018 participant, Bronwyn Lockwood who gave our region a voice on the issues discussed.  The morning was opened by Minister Jaala Pulford who highlighted the value and potential of regional community leadership development for the economic, social and cultural sustainability of our regional areas.  Participants then heard from leading demographer Dr Kim Johnstone and social commentator George Megalogenis about the trends of our growing population, before learning about how to fight for change, rather than against it thanks to Jason Clarke from Minds at Work. The afternoon saw break out workshop sessions that were used to discuss the importance of digital connectivity for regional communities and also the drivers of change from an infrastructure perspective.

Advocacy for future funding for Regional Leadership Programs

As Chair of the VRCLP, I have been encouraging all programs, including NML, to continue their local advocacy activities leading into the state election. This is about seeking a further four years of funding. Should we be successful, NML will secure sufficient funding to provide leadership development to one hundred (100) new and aspiring leaders in north-west Victoria and southern New South Wales regions.  Meetings have been held to date with the Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford and her senior staff as well as a number of state politicians to advocate on a state-wide basis. Despite the recent announcement of future funding support by a Liberals National Government, our advocacy work is not done. Local advocacy is an important part of statewide activity and NML asks that at every opportunity local voices in business, industry and community be raised to support the retention of the NML Program in the north-west.

Future Focus

NML Inc. has this week launched its recruitment campaign for the 2019 Northern Mallee Leaders Program with applications open until Wednesday 31 October 2018. This is an exciting time for NML Inc. as we seek out and encourage those individuals who may be searching for a personal and professional development program. It is also about encouraging businesses and organisations to support their staff or volunteers in developing a new group of leaders for our region and for their business or community activity. For more information, go to

Our Fundraising and Sponsorship Committee is also seeking Alumni or enthusiasts to support the implementation of their strategy. This is about securing a more resilient organisation and a future that embraces a more diverse financial base.  It is also an opportunity to expand networks, build new relationships and support a range of leadership development opportunities and activities. 


If you are interested in either of these opportunities please don’t hesitate to contact us or head to our website for details

Contact Us

Nardia Sheriff
NML Program Manager
They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s hard to believe that we are nearing the end of our program already!  The second half of the year has proven to be fast-paced and jam packed with several program days and one of our most exciting trips, to Canberra! As we stare down the barrel of the last few weeks together, it’s clear that the journey is far from over. Community projects have commenced and will continue into the New Year, networks have been established with new connections yielding new roles, new relationships and new opportunities. Participants are as keen as ever to identify ways that they can contribute and give back to this community and my prediction is that we’ll see this group stepping up onto more committees, boards and new positions over the coming months.

But it also means that we will be opening up the space to bring more emerging leaders into the fold with applications for the 2019 program now open! If you’ve ever been thinking of developing your personal leadership capabilities, challenging your own personal values, beliefs and points of view or building a range of skills that will transfer across the community and your workplace, then the NMLP may be just what you’re looking for!

Since 2008, The Northern Mallee Leaders Program (NMLP) has developed capable, confident and knowledgeable leaders for community organisations, businesses and industry sectors across our region. With over 140 graduates stepping up into leadership roles within their communities and workplaces, our Alumni is shaping the future of our region. Apply now to be a part of a community-oriented program that will support you in stepping up and making  a difference. You can find out more at

So, with our 2019 recruitment campaign now underway, we focus our energies on our upcoming program days in Robinvale and the Closing Retreat in mid-October before we officially say farewell to the participants of 2018 as they join our Alumni as graduates.  Their graduation will be held Thursday, 8th November at the Quality Hotel Mildura Grand. Further information will be forthcoming over the next few weeks including details of how to purchase your tickets.

As far as program days go though, we have certainly been very busy, here is a snapshot of our activities over the past few months.

Health & Wellbeing Program Day

Our Health & Wellbeing day held in July busted the preconceived notions of what was thought to be the biggest challenges for our community in this space – drugs & alcohol and mental health.  Whilst these two issues are certainly prevalent and create huge challenges for our region, it turns out attracting qualified professionals to the region and more importantly, keeping them here, is the biggest challenge faced by our community! When people aren’t connected to the community in which they work and live, then we give them no reason to stay which prompted a lot of conversation around how best to support the professionals that we attract to our region.

Youth & Education Program Day

We followed up Health & Wellbeing with a program day exploring the opportunities and challenges around education and the experiences of our youth in this community.  The day included a tour of the Mildura Specialist School, insight into adaptive leadership by Dennis Mitchell, Principal of Ranfurly Primary School, an understanding of connecting youth to education via FloConnect and conversations around the experiences of youth in our region, particularly those seeking support around LGBTIQ and mental health issues through Headspace.

Canberra Study Trip

Our trip to Canberra could not have come at a more opportune time, placing us in the thick of it all during our Nation’s recent leadership spill. Whilst the unfolding drama kept us on our toes and allowed us to hone our flexibility and adaptability skills, we were able to meet with all but one of the scheduled speakers, and had the bonus of meeting a few others that weren’t scheduled, such as Bill Shorten after a live broadcast on the front lawns of Parliament House.  Supported by Andrew Broad and his Chief of Staff Tracey Mooney, NMLP was again given backstage access to the workings of our government, including Question Time, which proved to be highly entertaining and promoted great discussion around what is good leadership.

Notwithstanding the political drama, the Canberra Study Trip allowed us to engage participants in various frameworks of leadership and showcase a range of organisations that are working at a national level on behalf of communities across our country, including the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Reconciliation Australia, Murray Darling Basin Authority, Australian War Memorial, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and Andrew Broad MP.

Governance & Justice Program Day

There wasn’t time for participants to sit on their laurels however once we returned from Canberra! The following week, we jumped back into a program day learning about all things Governance and Justice including the responsibilities and requirements of being a board member, hearing from Cr. Min Poole about why she stepped up into an elected representative role and what impact being a NML Participant had on that decision, as well as exploring the challenges for our local Police with Inspector John Nolan and 2009 NML Alumnus Kaare Anderson.

Elements of Leadership

Most recently, we have explored elements of leadership including taking ownership for mistakes when they happen, work-shopping a framework around solving problems and finishing off our day listening to Olympians and the importance that community has had in their journeys.
Upcoming Program Dates
Food, Water & the Environment (Robinvale) - Sunday 7th Oct & Monday 8th Oct
Final Retreat Weekend (Ouyen) - Saturday 20th Oct & Sunday 21st Oct
2018 Graduation Ceremony - Thursday 8th Nov

Paula Robinson
NML Alumni Manager
NML Alumni have had some great networking and learning opportunities over the past few months:

We held a very well attended evening at Mildura RSL where Tyson Matheson, Sub-branch Vice-President and Afghanistan war veteran spoke of his experiences in action and leadership in the context of the Australian Defence Forces.

NML Alumni in partnership with Lower Murray Water hosted Sue Anderson from Ballarat to facilitate a series of “Unshakeable Leaders” workshops. The workshops gave an insight into how to understand how we make decisions both at home and work.

Members of the 2008 NML Alumni gathered to mark ten years since they participated in the program, to reminisce and catch up on the happenings of the last decade. They were the first group of NML participants and paved the way for the 140 Alumni that have completed the program since.
Tyson Matheson, Sub-branch Vice-President and Afghanistan war veteran
Unshakeable Leaders Workshops at Lower Murray Water
Members of 2008 Program Alumni at their recent 10 year reunion
Community Projects Update
As the year rolls on, NMLP Alumni continue to work on their community projects.  One to mark on your calendar to get along to is the inaugural “Great Murray River Salami Festival” to be held in Euston on Saturday 13 October.  Guy Fielding (NMLP 2017) is the brains behind the concept so it would be great to see lots of Alumni and community support there.  All the details can be found at:

There are also a number of NML Alumni involved in the local “Pick my project” offerings.  There are some great project ideas and we wish the teams well in the selection process.  Voting for these projects closed on September 17th however you can still view offerings from our area via the website:

NML Inc. is hosting a Small Business Breakfast on Tuesday 8th October at The Quality Hotel Mildura Grand. With 3 guest speakers, including Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Judy O'Connell and Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP, we strongly encourage all local small business owners and operators to attend.  Tickets are $25pp and includes a cooked breakfast, tea and coffee.  Click here for more information and to purchase your ticket today.

If you are interested in developing your skills to be an effective member of a Committee or Board, Jen Grigg, NML Inc. Executive Officer, will be facilitating Governance 101 workshops on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th October from 6pm-9pm.  More details and bookings at:


In partnership with SuniTAFE we are pleased to be bringing the recently released, award winning, “Make me a Leader” documentary to Mildura.  The screening will take place at 5:30pm on Wednesday 10th October in the SuniTAFE Auditorium.  Tickets are $10 each and the event is open to the public, grab some friends and book your ticket by clicking on the link -


Applications for our 2019 NML Program are now OPEN!  We will be holding an information evening on Wednesday 24th October at Fossey's Ginporium from 6pm, all are welcome to attend.  If you have been thinking about participating in the program but not quite sure if it's for you then this is a not to be missed evening, 2019 could be your year!

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