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Emerging leaders bring fresh ideas for their community

THREE Greater Hobart residents are fine-tuning their leadership skills in the community sector by participating in the fourth annual Emerging Community Leaders program.

Developed by the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF), the program improves leadership skills in the community sector, particularly in rural and regional areas.

TCF chair Sally Darke said the length and breadth of the state was being represented in this year’s program.

“The reputation of the program is growing in the community sector and we have participants from sporting clubs, neighbourhood houses and arts groups, as well as social services and volunteer groups,” she said.

“This year’s program brings together 24 of the next generation of leaders in Tasmania’s community sector and equips them to positively contribute as a leader in this sector, with a focus on increasing their skills in governance, finance, leadership, management, communication, and project management.”

Joselle Griffin works for Connected Beginnings as a social worker, focusing on community development programs in Bridgewater.

Ms Griffin said the Emerging Community Leaders program was an “amazing way” to hone her skills and help her in her work.

“The first experience was beyond my expectations and being around all of the amazing participants is very inspiring and re-affirms why we work in the community sector,” she said.

Alicia Jones, acting coordinator for Colony 47’s Front Door program, is the first port of call for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

She said the first residential experience, offered as part of the program, was very empowering.

“It was intense, but I was given time to reflect on my skills and the positive contribution I make in my local community,” she said.

Tristan Bunker is the community and partnership coordinator involved with the 24 Carrot Garden Program, delivered through MONA.

She also runs the vegetable garden class at Glenorchy Primary School.

“I have a strong sense of wanting to be a leader in the community sector – I want to work with children who want guidance to be the best they can be,” Ms Bunker said.

“I heard good things about Emerging Community Leaders and I really want to walk away from the program with a quiver of skills to draw on people’s strengths and bring out the best in them.

“After just a few days I am getting more tools to work with in my job, as well as connecting and networking with like-minded people.”

With 68 graduates over the past three years, the TCF is seeing the Emerging Community Leaders program bear fruit in local communities across the state.

“Each participant in our Emerging Community Leaders program has vision, energy and commitment to their sector and they have learnt much more about themselves and how to better shape their future as leaders in Tasmania,” Ms Darke said.

“Participants in the Emerging Community Leaders program already make a difference for the long-term benefit of their local communities and I look forward to see what this year’s group deliver with the new skills they learn.”

The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 1999 following the sale of the Trust Bank.

Since 2000, the independent funding body has provided more than $106 million to more than 3000 projects across Tasmania.

Caption: Emerging Community Leaders participants, from left, Joselle Griffin, Tristan Bunker and Alicia Jones.