SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council’s planned Community Leadership Program has attracted 36 applicants from throughout the municipality, with 25 shortlisted to fill the 20 available places.
The shire’s acting community strengthening co-ordinator Sophie Dixon said the leadership program drew “a great spread of applications, with 23 women and 13 men from right across South Gippsland.
“We heard from applicants from every eligible age range, too, from 18 years to 65 plus,” she said.
“Of the 36 applications we received for the program, one was ineligible however as it was not from a South Gippsland resident.”
Applicants for the free program hail from Foster, Fish Creek, Toora, Welshpool, Port Welshpool, Stony Creek, Turtons Creek, Meeniyan, Koonwarra, Leongatha, Leongatha South, Korumburra, Loch, Mirboo North, and Venus Bay.
Ms Dixon said an independent, external assessor with extensive experience with similar community leadership programs was invited to prepare a scored shortlist of candidates from the 36 applicants to the South Gippsland Shire program.
Scoring was based on the selection criteria, with a weighted score for each category.
“The shortlisted candidates are now participating in an interview process, and this will give further insight into motivation for application, and what the participants hope to gain from the program,” she said.
“A successful list will be drawn from this process, which will be completed shortly, and it could be that all 25 shortlisted candidates are accepted, instead of only 20.”
The nine-session skills development program is scheduled to start in October, though the scheduling process will be determined by requirements for public health and safety during the current COVID-19 pandemic period.
Among the topics to be covered during the skills workshops include becoming more familiar with South Gippsland’s local towns and districts, and its community groups.
Participants will learn how crucial shared values are on the operations of an organisation, as well as the importance of teamwork in making decisions, in showing leadership and in building influence.
They will gain knowledge about themselves, including the rudiments of how the human brain works, understanding motivation in leaders, and recognising individual leadership style and its impact on culture.
Convening and running meetings, confidentiality, reports, and financial documentation will also be covered, alongside how to be an effective board or committee member.
The program will examine emotional intelligence, developing and giving public presentations, talking to the Press, and managing conflict.
Collaborating to develop and achieve common goals, staying on track, and holding the vision and purpose will also be covered.
The Local Government 101 workshop will explain the different levels and powers of government in Victoria, from federal and state to municipal.The community leadership program will run over a six-month period.