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Leadership development opportunity for Northern Rivers Community

September 01 2022

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Northern Rivers, together with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) and the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) invite regional leaders to an upcoming Northern Rivers Future Forum in Ballina aimed at strengthening the region’s network of local leaders to support and drive a positive future for their communities.

The upcoming Future Forum is part of the Leading Australian Resilient Communities (LARC) program, led locally by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Northern Rivers. It will be held at the Ballina Byron Islander Resort on Monday 19 September.

The LARC program will deliver a combination of place-based multi-day leadership sessions to identify challenges, opportunities and what underpins them; as well as webinars; group coaching; and support for practical, community led projects. The Northern Rivers Future Forum in Ballina is the first step where community stakeholders can learn how it works and how they can participate.

ARLF CEO Matt Linnegar welcomed the collaboration with RDA Northern Rivers and the team’s strong local knowledge which will help ensure the program’s success.

“The LARC program, and the partners involved, recognise that true resilience is not merely about ‘coping’ or ‘surviving’, but about change, readiness and opportunity,” he said.

“The Northern Rivers community has undoubtedly experienced enormous challenges. This program is about investing in those who know their communities best to help guide its recovery and make the most of opportunities that come their way.”

RDA Northern Rivers Director Tim Williamson said the combined expertise and resources of the ARLF and RAI will equip local and regional leaders with valuable information and skills.

“Rarely does a program of the calibre of LARC come to our region. The Northern Rivers Future forum will bring us together as a region and give us the tools to build a better region for future generations,” he said.

The one-day forum is a free event with guest speakers Anita Kuss, presenting on behalf of the RAI, the Australian Resilience Centre’s Paul Ryan and the ALRF Manager of Learning Andrew Bryant. Opportunities as part of the RAI’s latest economic and social data specific to the Northern Rivers region will be shared.

RAI CEO Liz Ritchie encourages like-minded community members to come together for focused and deep conversations.

“This is an opportunity for people living and working in the Northern Rivers region who are passionate about their community, to work collaboratively to build a positive future for their region,” Liz Ritchie said.

“The forum will focus on building strong local networks, combining resources and sharing knowledge, skills and expertise in the interest of their communities.”

To register for the Northern Rivers Future Forum, visit

To learn more about the LARC five-day leadership experience, with 26 scholarships on offer in the Northern Rivers region, visit

LARC is delivered as part of the Australian Government’s Building Resilient Regional Leaders Initiative (Pilot) grant.

Media enquiries:

Tim Williamson
Director Regional Development Australia - Northern Rivers
02 6622 4011 / 0407 724 110
[email protected]

Nicky McMillan
Australian Rural Leadership Foundation
0439 438 500
[email protected]

Alexandra Macaulay
Senior Communications Manager
Regional Australia Institute
0409 652 465
[email protected]