News

19 April 2017 By Corinne Szczurek

Here we are at Day 4, ready for another inspiring session.

We eased into the morning with a Ted Talk, exploring the analogy of the Golden Circle with insightful, bestselling author Simon Sinek. The key take away message was definitely that "people don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it".

We then welcomed Judy Utley into the room. Heading up the Human Resources department at Treasury Corporation of Victoria, Judy has a wealth of knowledge to share... 

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10 April 2017 By Blake Monahan

Day two at Igniting Leadership today’s session starts as every day should, with a crazy man dancing erratically. Valuable lessons were learned from “The Dancing Guy”, sometimes you have to stand alone and persevere through the hard times. When you get that first follower the importance of acceptance and the rest will come.

Next was one of the most challenging and engaging times in the Igniting Leadership program thus far, values. Why ask “what do you do?” when we really want to know “who are you?” This was a personal challenge for many of us in the group to really take time to think about what is important to us.

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5 April 2017 By Susannah Palmer

By the end of day 3, the consensus was... exhausted! We had an action packed day with speakers, group activities and delving into our strengths.

A "speed dating" activity didn't lead to love but it did give the group a chance to reconnect after a week apart, with weekends and work in between. The bridge building activity saw one functional bridge (out of three!!) which didn't win (ROBBED) but a lot of cooperation.

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29 March 2017 By Catherine Bennett, Alfred Psychiatry

Day one of the Igniting Leadership Program 2017 was an interesting day of new connections, new information and, for some, a new way of thinking. The day started with a warm welcome and introduction to Leadership Victoria and the Igniting Leadership Program.

We heard from an inspirational speaker who shared their journey of adversity and personal growth. I was fascinated with this speaker’s experience of learning acceptance, and contentment with where they were in life and what they were able to achieve. Our second speaker shared a powerful story about identity and a change in philosophy. The speaker’s experience was one that I hadn’t heard a lot about before and I was able to see a different world-view to what I am used to seeing.

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17 October 2016 By Kath Knott, Nexus Primary Health

Our focus for day three of the Igniting Leadership Program included Drivers of Change (Rob Hart), Coaching (Marion Macleod) and the FIRO-B profiling tool (Lynn Scoles).

We started our morning with a quick round of speed networking (similar to speed dating) to bring us together, reflect upon last weeks sessions and how we have begun to put into practice the things we have learnt.

As a lover of quotes I thought I might sum today up in the quotes provided by our highly talented and skilled speakers:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

Our calm presence liberates others from fear

It all starts with knowing and coming to terms with yourself

If you are planting for one year, grow rice. If you are planting for twenty years, grow trees. If you are planting for centuries, grow people

Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance

You've got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was

We finished with more practical tips and strategies to implement todays teachings in our workplace. It is an amazing group to be a part of, energetic and authentic, and I look forward to day four.

Kath Knott, Preventive Health and Engagement Officer, Nexus Primary Health

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17 October 2016 By Jo Bidwell, Victorian Building Authority

Apparently we’re a lively bunch according to Oenone and various speakers throughout the day. I’m intrigued about our group. What makes us lively compared to others? Does it perhaps have something to do with the values of this (exceptional) group of people...?

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17 October 2016 By Deborah Riley, Melbourne Water

It’s Thursday morning, and I am walking up an imposing corridor in the Old Treasury Building towards a large room. The walls are line with historical oil paintings and grand doors opening onto grand offices. The scene is set for a serious day of high-brow thinking.  Laughter erupts from my destination down the end of the hall and I‘m a bit relieved – the people I’m about to join sound friendly.

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1 May 2016 By Carly Moorfield, Communications Manager, Victorian Ombudsman

Like many people rocking up to work on a Friday, we eased into things by  watching YouTube. The video of ‘the dancing guy’ opened our eyes, not only to some formidable dance moves, but to the idea of the ‘first follower’. The first person to stand by a leader can transform them from a ‘lone nut’ to a visionary and be crucial in creating change.

Later that morning, Dana Eisenstein ran a session on emotional intelligence. Ninety minutes flew by, with Dana covering topics such as intuition and body language, and asking us questions like, 'what am I like on my worst day? On my best day?'.   Rather than a post-lunch slack-off, we delved into the deep waters of values, led by Saya Lorback, LV Leadership Development Facilitator. We explored concepts of passion, identity, feelings and authenticity. To labour the metaphor, Saya and Dana both referenced the iceberg model, where we reveal 10% of ourselves to the world through our behaviour, with the remaining 90% existing below the surface, ready to be discovered by ourselves and others.   We ended the week with the ramshackle brilliance of our own great debate, arguing whether the ends justify the means. Despite the affirmative putting forward Masterchef, soap stars and weary racegoers carrying high heels to make their case, it was the negative team who carried the day.

Carly Moorfield is the Communications Manager at the Victorian Ombudsman.

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28 April 2016 By David Wain, Senior Policy Officer, Equality Branch, Department of Premier & Cabinet

Well, what an intense but captivating day.

There was a sense of anticipation as soon as people entered the grandiose JJ Clark room of the Old Treasury Building, with everyone milling around, reluctant to sit down, possibly because choosing a seat meant committing to some undefined activity. This wasn't an unreasonable assumption after doing the pre reading, there was a definite sense that at Leadership Victoria, everything matters. That was something I personally found both frightening and thrilling in equal measure.

This settled down as the day progressed, speakers presented and activities were undertaken. Bruce Anderson and Maryum Chaudhry, two people who's experiences differ in almost every respect, spoke about their common understandings of leadership. Both were captivating and compelling, and inspired lively discussions after their presentations.

The day continued on, more discussion, more presentation, more reflection. Eventually the day ended and I was released back into Spring Street, challenged, exhausted and inspired.

The common theme for me across the day was the importance of developing a leadership narrative to find meaning in personal experience, and that these narratives aren't waiting to be found, but have to be created from scratch to serve a specific purpose. 

It was a powerful idea to take with me as I descended into the ordinariness of Parliament Station.

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16 September 2015 By Bronwen Hutchison, Chad Henry, Matthew Paynter

The day’s session was held at the Leadership Victoria offices located at The Old Treasury Building, Spring Street Melbourne. The day started with a debriefing on how our meetings with our mentors went, with everyone happy with the person they have been paired up with.

To kick the session off we had guess speaker Lynn Scoles, who spoke about emotional intelligence. She talked about what emotional intelligence is and what it means to you. She went through each of the following and explained how it all relates to this subject:

Stress Buttons/Triggers Values Empathy Understanding Others Impact on Others Think before acting Think about how others may respond

Lynn also explained how emotional intelligence can affect the brain and ways to minimise the danger and maximise the reward. During this session we learnt about Amygdala Hijack. This is when the higher levels of stress cause a reduction in our abilities to make good decisions. When we are less stressed we are more aware of what is going on around us.

After morning tea we then moved onto DRIVE and the surprising truth about what motivates us. During this session we learnt about understanding what drives and motivates people and their goals and awareness.

We also went through the differences between internal and external motivators. This could relate to monetary rewards or status rewards. As part of this session we also covered the topics of autonomy, mastery and purpose.

After completion of the Provocation/Drive session when then moved onto our CLAN: Collaborative Leadership in Action Networks program. We finalised the two projects that we will be working on and presenting at the completion of this program. The two projects will be Ageing Workforce and Collaboration.

The afternoon consisted of a presentation by Louise Thomson on motivating and coaching others. This began with an insight into the 'iceberg of a person'. This is the two parts of any person: the stuff you see and the stuff you can't see. The tip of the iceberg (what you can see) represents behaviour, strength, traits and types. Things you can't see include intent, purpose, motives, values, and drive.

From this we broke into groups of three to conduct a 20 minute coaching session by following the below question pattern:

Goals - How are you feeling? What do you want to achieve?

Reality - Who is involved? What, When, Where, How much, How often?

Options - If there was no restriction what would you do? What have you done so far?

Wrap-up - What support do you need to succeed? What option seems the most appealing and why?

We wrapped up the day by meeting a number of the mentors and had round table discussions on various models of leadership going over a variety of experiences with each of the mentors.

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10 August 2015 By Louise Thomson

A small shift in our behaviour will increase our performance significantly.

My husband and I are getting our 'affairs' in order. We've had it on our list for ages and finally we've taken action to get smart with our money. It's been a shock and I'm sure unconsciously I've resisted, knowing of the shock and changes we'd need to make to be more accountable for our money actions!

We've done the financial planner visit, completed the budget, the mortgage broker is working for us and we're about to hit our bank, insurance providers and utilities. Just writing down the notes, actions and thoughts clears the haze which has hung around for some time - not really being in control of what I should be in control of - 100%

I liken this to the control of our leadership behaviors. We generally go about our trade, doing what we know best and generally avoid the opportunity to deep dive into the 'too hard' or 'too time consuming' activity or reviewing or in particular shifting our behaviour for a better outcome.

Knowing that I will save 2% interest by changing banks is the impetus to make a decision to employ someone to make my mortgage shift. Making a correction or increasing the volume of my leadership behaviours by 2% will definitely see significant outputs and outcomes however it's the ability to visualise the potential performance of my personal shift which can be the show-stopper.

The question is - are you prepared to shift? There might not be enough hard data to prove the outcomes let alone having proof that you'll maintain the shift. The toughest action is to consider the decision.

Saying "yes" is a great start.

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5 August 2015 By Nicole Seretis, Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade

Igniting Leadership Program – Blog – 30/07/15

Hi! Nicole here, reporting on day one of Igniting Leadership with Leadership Victoria!

Wow, what a day! I think the biggest take away from the day for me is the power of stories. We heard from two inspiring leaders who both used stories to engage us, promote the benefits of leadership qualities and to provoke reflections, challenges and questions for ourselves.

Stories were also told by course participants, a friendly and diverse bunch. Stories and experiences which were courageous and insightful and genuinely made me think more creatively.

Leaving the course today I vow to be better at using stories to portray messages, visions and to engage people and to inspire people to think outside the square.

We actively participated in a number of workshops and one of my favourites was strengths based feedback, an activity that involved telling a success story and the other participants listening for strengths in your story and providing this feedback back to you at the end of the story. I got those fuzzy feel good feeling and a few surprises in terms of strengths I hadn’t seen in my self.

A big thank you to the presenters, our host Louise and all the participants on a successful, challenging and inspiring first day.

Special thankyous to my table team and your inspiring attitudes: Leanne – you are hard working and a real ‘go getter’, Mike – you are charismatic and articulate and Briony – you are humble and dedicated!

Nicole Seretis – Manager Quality Assurance – Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade

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5 August 2015 By Mike Pottenger, program participant

Three main themes from the first day? Learning new ideas is hard. Doing things differently is stressful. And making a big change in your life or career is terrifying.

Out of context, these might seem like reasons to stick to what you know, do things the way you always have, and avoid change at all costs. In context, it's a provocation. A clear and direct challenge to push yourself, but to do so with a careful self-awareness of your limits.

Like a performer recognising their nerves and turning them into energy, a good leader can take the difficulty of new ideas, the stress of a new approach, or the terror that comes with complete and utter uncertainty and harness it. More importantly, a good leader can identify these factors in their peers and encourage and support them in doing the same.

The first day was not just about how to make yourself a better leader, but an exercise in thinking differently and deeply about what leadership really means.

Like any theoretical framework, if used crudely, these ideas could be stretched beyond recognition. If we think it's important to help people work outside of their "comfort zones", then what's the difference between simply assigning someone a task you know they'll struggle to complete, or working with them to identify something they think they'd like to improve on?

The first day gave us a chance to think and learn about these and other questions through direct application, and the tools were used to structure the work we did. Our facilitator, Louise, drew us out of our comfort zones with clear rules and a mutual understanding from all the attendees that that was what we were there to do - we could trust each other. It anyone felt like they were being flung out on a trapeze, they could be reassured that Louise had carefully checked the equipment and everyone else was holding the safety net.

With this support, people tried new ideas on for size. They tested out new ways of thinking about questions and executing tasks. And while no one undertook any complete life or career changes during the session, they tinkered with the notion, and imagined themselves doing it. I wouldn't be surprised if they did sometime soon. I know they'll be more confident in handling it when they do.

- Mike Pottenger, Igniting Leadership Series 3, 2015.

Don't miss the last Igniting Leadership Program of 2015! Earlybird closes on 13 August (save over $1,000). Learn more.

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29 September 2014 By Cynthia Mahoney

ILP participants working together
ILP participants working together

Introducing Cynthia Mahoney, facilitator for Leadership Victoria's Igniting Leadership Program starting on 9 October

Imagine if we all built a team of people around us who believed in us, could be there with us through the highs and lows and supported us to be the best we could be?

How powerful that could be!

What could we achieve?

That's what went through my mind when I saw an interview with the inspirational Lydia Lassila after she became the first woman to do a quadruple-twisting triple somersault in aerial skiing at the Socchi Winter Games.

Lydia spoke at length about the vital role her support crew played in her success which reinforced to me just how important the people we surround ourselves with are to our lives. She spoke of her husband, friends and family, her sponsors, her management team, her coach and mental trainer and said, “It is such a team effort and I don’t think I’d be the athlete I am today without all these people in my life. It’s been incredible”.

As a facilitator of leadership programs I’ve been so fortunate to hear the wisdom of many people, successful in their own way, all with their own strengths and talents and learnings about their leadership journey. One common theme is that they don’t do it on their own. They surround themselves with people who have different strengths to them. They have all had mentors who challenged them, raised the bar for them, shared their wisdom and offered support.

My tip? Think about your network strategically and realise you don’t have to do it on your own.

Imagine you are the CEO of 'You Inc'. Who would you want on your board of management? Or you might think of yourself as a professional athlete – who would you want in your support crew?

There are heaps of ways to connect with people and broaden your network to access new skills, perspectives and inspiration whether it be spending time in your community or with family, joining an association or starting a mastermind group, getting active on social media, reconnecting with fabulous people from your past, inviting someone to have a cup of tea with you, keeping up with your professional development, accessing some coaching or mentoring and the list goes on!

What could you do?

Finally, your network is not all a one-way street. You also play an important role for many of the people in your network. To whom could you offer support and in what way?

By taking some time out to review and re-boot our networks, I'd like to imagine we could all be achieving our own version of the quadruple-twisting triple somersault, surrounded by our own support crew.

Igniting Leadership Program at Leadership Victoria

Cynthia is the facilitator for LV's Igniting Leadership Program, designed for emerging leaders. Enrolments are closing soon!

For more information, visit the Igniting Leadership Program page at the LV website.

Program Duration5 days (run over 3 weeks)

Venue: JJ Clark Room, Level 1, Old Treasury Building,20 Spring Street, Melbourne

2014 ILP Program Dates·    ILP Series 5: 9, 10, 16, 17, 31 October - this is the last series for 2014. Enrol here.

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17 July 2014 By Guest Blog - Anna Di Pietrantonio

Engaged, the one word that sums up the day for me.

Had completed my readings, answered my questions and introduced myself to my buddy.

As morning tea drew closer I thought I knew what to expect. Sitting at a table with some nice, knowledgable people that I could have a chat with, some deeper thinkers that would challenge my assumptions and improve my practice.  Then our first speaker walked in Matt Pfahlert (Igniting Leadership) presented his personal story as a social entrepreneur, wow.  I had written quotes on leadership including, "bacon and eggs, the hog is committed and the chook is involved" and "managers do things right, leadership is doing the right things".

After lunch Matt Vincent (are you ready to lead?) presented and I was floored for a second time.  An open, insightful no hold bar presentation, driving home the point to reflect often and seek out feedback.  My take home, be open to learning and reflecting because leadership can be taught, improved and refined.

Louise presented the ladder of inference and we completed our work place challenge.  A little outside of the my comfort zone, but i survived and learnt more about myself.

Ending the day I realised that the thought that has gone into planning this training was in depth, meeting and spending time with my buddy was evidence of that, they just got it right.

I am intrigued, excited and slightly hesitant on what the next four days will bring.

Anna Di Pietrantonio Executive Manager of Disability Solutions with UnitingCare lifeAssist has been in this role since January 2014.  Her background is in Disability and she has worked in the Disability sector for over 14 years.

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5 June 2014 By Jeremy Frampton

It wasn’t until I found myself lying on the couch at home on the Friday evening after the first two days of the Igniting Leadership Program that I realized just how exhausting taking in so much new information and interacting with a whole new group of people for two solid days can be.

So it was with equal parts excitement and trepidation that I arrived for day three of the program, where our theme was to be ‘Change’.

Our day began in earnest with a networking exercise where we were instructed to commence a series of ‘speed networking’ discussions with three of our fellow participants. This exercise was a great way for us to ‘re-introduce’ ourselves to each other and also provided a useful opportunity to reflect on what we took away from the first two days before commencing on a brand new topic.

We had three guest speakers lined up for the day, so there was a danger of potential information overload, but all the participants seemed eager to get the day underway.

Ulli Baxter started off with a discussion about the drivers and dynamics behind change, which provided a number of interesting insights about the experiences of change within organisations, including a startling statistic amount the number of organizations that fail in meeting their objective for change.

In the afternoon session, we had Joanne Marriott (Marriott Ideas and Solutions) give an enthusiastic presentation on ‘Emotional Intelligence’. This was an aspect of leadership I had heard of but had not had the opportunity to learn anything about, so I found this to be an enlightening discussion.

Dana Eisenstein of Mindscape Consulting was the final guest speaker for the day. Dana conducted a very interactive session on coaching and also provided us with several useful coaching tools that I know will be of great use to me as I begin my leadership journey.

Other than these insightful and engaging presentations, the highlight of day three would have to be the lamingtons and scones at morning tea. Without the requisite sugar hit that this food provided us, I’m sure the energy levels of the participants would have been much lower in the morning session.

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4 November 2013 By Jodie Flood, Hobsons Bay City Council


Walking into the final day of the Igniting Leadership program was bittersweet – exciting that I was in for another day of keen insights and learning, sad to know that this invaluable time was coming to an end. 

Communication was the focus of the day and our first speaker, Wade Keenan, brought in some reality checks on the at times brutal corporate environment, and shared three powerful questions that frame his relationship building:

Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? Do you care about me as a person?
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22 October 2013 By Simone Quin, CRC for Mental Health Ltd


Day two of the Ignite Leadership program was one of self-analysis and reflection. The day provided a life time opportunity to consider our own values and how they influence our potential as leaders. 

The morning commenced with a five person team based discussion and review of a workplace issue that each of us had brought to the program. The review followed a Harvard based approach. I presented my issue to my team members in a condensed format, they then asked questions and following that I was asked to leave while they discussed the issue between them.

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22 October 2013 By Alicia Colley, WorkSafe Victoria.


In the beginning, so many unanswered questions. Would this be another routine training program? Not likely! The expectation was set very early with a full and lively program. But could it really be as good as others have claimed? Enthusiastic Ignite Leadership participants were promised an energising, interesting and engaging program. Could our facilitator come through with the goods? If so, could this energy continue to day 4?

I’m pleased to say that energy levels remained high on day 4. By the end of the day there were signs of information overload, due to all the new insights into leadership that were gained.

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14 October 2013 By Naomi Kubina, Inner East Community Health Service


The first thing that struck me is that learning is our responsibility. There was a lot of emphasis on connecting with others to learn from them. Leadership challenges across all sectors are similar and it is easy to find someone going through similar challenges to you. But you have to be willing to put yourself out there and connect with other people to find out their stories. It doesn't take too long to find similar challenges and learn what's worked for others.

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14 October 2013 By Tony Cavedon, UnitingCare Community Options


Day 2 of the Igniting Leadership program and I found myself engrossed in thought provoking discussions and dilemmas, and challenged with opportunities to take risks in a safe environment. I had the chance to learn from others in the group, and discover common struggles we have in common. I especially  valued the genuine connections with others which I hope will endure way beyond the course itself.

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14 October 2013 By Lara Pasquale, Consumer Affairs Victoria


I went into this course as I do with all professional development courses... A little apprehensive. I have been on plenty of courses where I sit like a student, listening to a highly qualified person tell me theoretical things I already know about the job I have been doing for years. And to top it off, in a week where I had to squeeze 5 days' work into 3, there were a few pre-course activities to complete. So late the night before the course (I've always been a crammer), I sat reading the materials provided and thought, 'this better be worth it'. Only one day into the course, it is already clear that it was!

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2 September 2013 By Anne-Maree Westbury, EPA


It all started the day before the course when I caught up with my buddy Ken for coffee and a half hour chat before we had to introduce each other the next day. One and a half hours later we realised we really should get back to work and probably had more than enough information for the 2 min introduction, I also realised we would definitely be good buddies.

On day one we all discussed the difference between management and leadership, got to know each other better with buddy introductions and also had some one on one time with our buddies to chat about our ‘crucible’ – a challenging experience that we learnt from and transformed us in some way - this was a very inspiring discussion.

We had two amazing speakers on the first day, Sarah Davies and Matt Vincent, who gave totally of themselves in sharing their leadership experiences with us. These really were the highlight for me. Some things in their stories that stood out for me were:

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2 September 2013 By Louise Close, Worksafe


Looking for ‘leadership from the middle’ and lessons learned from management challenges - two very different perspectives on leadership that were just some of the thought provoking concepts raised on Day 1 of Leadership Victoria’s Igniting Leadership course.

Sarah Davies from the Reach Foundation and Matt Vincent from the Environment Protection Authority shared their perspectives on what leadership means to them, and what they’ve learned along the way.  Both speakers were engaging and generous when talking about their experiences (good and bad!), and left us thinking about the importance of values in leadership, and about identifying and defining what is central to our own leadership styles.  Both raised some interesting points – in particular, Sarah’s focus on values influencing everyday actions, and the idea of looking for leadership from people who don’t hold formal management/leadership roles, got me thinking about ways to put that idea into practice to get the most out of my team.

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27 August 2013 By Lyndal Box, Worksafe


Do you know how it feels when you really challenge yourself?

 

Sometimes you feel vulnerable as you explore who you really are. Sometimes you feel energized as you make plans for what you aspire to achieve. Sometimes you feel sad as you reflect on a missed opportunity and sometimes you feel joyous when you recognise your strengths and put them to great use.

The greatest lesson I have learned in my Igniting Leadership journey is the importance of constantly challenging myself no matter how uncomfortable it may be. 

We have certainly been challenged over the past five days. At some point each one of us has been a public speaker, a motivator, an artist, a counsellor, a listener, a group therapist, a visionary, a coach, an improviser, a journalist, a humourist and a soul searcher. Our experiences and takeaway messages have been numerous and different. 

Here are my takeaway messages from the communication focus of our final day:

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7 August 2013 By Aysen Gazi, Dept of Premier & Cabinet


Day two kicked off with us all congregating in the break room, sharing thoughts of day 1 and thoughts of what day 2 might bring - the ice has well and truly been broken! Back to business after Louise's welcome - she certainly has the ability to get us all on track and engaged.  The YouTube video of 'The Dancing Man' and subsequent discussion certainly got us all chattering.  For those of us who had seen it before, it was very interesting to see the reactions of those who hadn't.  It's a great example of how a leader (dancing guy), went out on his own, and when his first follower approached, he brought him in and showed the way.   Richard Dent spoke to us on the topic of Leadership Dissected.  We discussed the leadership styles of people including Julius Caesar, Nelson Mandela and the character Atticus Finch from the move 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.  Angela Rutter discussed with us values and the role of values in leadership.   Our afternoon was filled with interaction, discussion and debate.  I have to say it is great to talk about the challenges we face in our roles, share ideas and offer advice, with the light bulb going off above each of our heads throughout the day.

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5 August 2013 By Libby Avram, Dept Premier and Cabinet


The view from the balcony: Igniting Leadership Day 1

Day one of the Igniting Leadership program and we have already learnt so much! The program kicked off with two contrasting, but inspirational speakers who have opened up the field of debate and put forward distinct understandings of what leadership means to them. 

This has given me much food for thought about what my particular 'brand' of leadership is and how this program might help me shape and refine it.  I also met so many interesting people with such diverse experiences to share.  So, along with ideas, networks are starting to form. 

A key question that seems to be occupying the group is the distinction between management and leadership and I wonder what conclusions we will draw at the end of the five days? In the meantime, the workplace challenge starts on day two, 'group therapy'.....

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5 August 2013 By Donald Ritchie, Dept of Justice


What makes someone a leader? Is it different to being a manager? Can someone be both? 

These are just some of the questions raised on my first day at Leadership Victoria's 'Igniting Leadership' course. 

My first taste of the 'LV Way' challenges even than description - course? Seminar? Training? It has been all these and more. Time for individual reflections, interesting guest speakers and an assortment of group tasks kept us energised and thinking. 

The day was well-structured, allowing time for a number of activities, and importantly, time to talk, discuss and reflect on questions and insights. 

In addition to personal insights from the inspiring Matt Pfahlert and  the passionate Guy Mendelson, Day 1 focused on engaging with one another, and with our expectations. 

It's remarkable that a number of people with often similar goals can have such varied backgrounds and experiences. Stories shared emphasized both the strength of our diversity and the familiarity of the workplace and career challenges we face. 

I am looking forward to discovering more about one another as we progress.

On to Day 2!

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18 July 2013


Just 18 months ago, Dave McNamara completed the Igniting Leadership Program. Today he is CEO of Foodbank Victoria.

Could he have done it without the five days of training?

“I had the skills but Igniting Leadership gave me the resources and understanding to use my strengths and to really understand my weaknesses. I learnt so much about leadership techniques from this including how to work with difficult people,” reflects Dave.

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19 June 2013 By Alison Medhurst, Department of Environment and Primary Industries


Friday, 9am at the end of a very long week I find myself still contemplating a challenge left with us on Day 3 – What will you commit to? – and wondering if I have the energy to keep my head together for another full day of leadership thoughts, reflections and learning.  Melbourne has experienced some fairly heavy rain overnight and so it’s nice to settle into the now familiar environs of the Old Treasury building, crank up the heaters and set off on another day of our leadership journey.

To start James Garriock takes us through a systems perspective of leadership with great enthusiasm and energy and before long we’re all talking and thinking about how aligned and engaged we (and our teams) are with our respective organisations. 

After the break we find ourselves once again learning how to use a facilitation tool while simultaneously learning more about how we understand leadership and developing some collective answers to our questions.  Dual purpose learning and learning from each other are common to this course!

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19 June 2013 By Marissa Deeble, Project Officer, Worksafe


Day three for me has been the most insightful.  The presentations and discussions have really challenged my perceptions of who I am or could be in the world of leadership.

From change models and emotional intelligence to a reflecting on our own strengths in challenging times, today Leadership Victoria provided us with a wealth of hands on content to build our skills both inside and outside the work environment.

But I can’t forget about the people sitting in the room, it’s the discussions that make it all the more real. Working through the foundations of coaching this afternoon was all the more appropriate as there is so much we each have to offer in ensuring that we all continue to GROW.

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11 June 2013 By Stacey Jewell, Transport Accident Commission


Day 3 of the Ignite Leadership program, and what a way to kick it off with a speed dating activity to get the brain cells pumping and stimulation flowing. For all you aspiring leaders on the single scene, don't get too excited at your future relationship prospects; this was more a chance to reflect on the week that has been including our insights, inspiration and learnings from the first two days in the leadership program, while having a bit of fun along the way.

We were then excited by our first guest speaker, Ulli Baxter, who broadened our minds to the challenges and strategies of driving change. An interesting eye opener to understand change models and which could be effective to use in our own workplaces. A popular fit for most being the Phases of Change Model. Ulli facilitated discussion to help us explore the initiatives we currently use to lead change in the workplace and the difficulties many of us face with supporting and leading staff through this process. The key points to resonate with me being honesty, transparency and communication with staff to help them understand the change journey vision and purpose, what this looks like, and how I as a leader can make this transition meaningful, supportive and opportunistic for our staff. A stand out activity was unpacking the theory that it is not the fear of change that most find difficult, it is the fear of loss.

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4 June 2013 By Josie Brown, State Trustees Ltd


I’ve been looking forward to the program for some time. I climbed the steps of the Old Treasury, a beautiful, grand 19th century building. It’s 8:30am on a cold and wet Melbourne day. In anticipation of the unknown I asked the attendant in the ground floor foyer if I was in the right place for Igniting Leadership. I sure was, there is no turning back now, up the stairs and to your right she directed.

What I soon learnt was that Louise, our facilitator for the program is wound up and ready to go, enthusiastic and ready to challenge us and our thinking. Our group of 23 participants is diverse, also enthusiastic and keen to learn about the mysteries of leadership.

It was a full day, focussed on leadership qualities, including two guest speakers who were brilliant; Sarah Davies – CEO at REACH and Matt Vincent – Director at the Environment Protection Authority.  The stories and experiences that they shared with us were honest, reflective and much appreciated by our group. Both demonstrated the value of being an authentic leader, sharing their life lessons, successes and what works for them as individuals.

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4 June 2013 By Emma Edwardes, Department of Justice


The day started off with interesting discussion around the use of social media in spreading the word about leadership.  We were shown a clip the Dancing Man which emphasised the importance of the first follower in order for someone to become a leader. 

We then had a great presentation by Richard Dent, from Leadership Victoria, who gave an interesting insight into the history of leadership through various stages of human history.  For me, who has a degree in Archaeology this was fantastic!  There was discussion around different leadership styles in particular using the great LV model of leadership: Influence, Ethics and Vision. 

We then had the fantastic exercise of providing solutions to everyone's workplace challenge.  The process of getting into groups and each person having the opportunity to explain their workplace challenge, have the group then discuss and provide advice was fantastic.  It was an excellent exercise and an opportunity to gain experience in explaining a situation, having discussion and then providing advice.  It was an excellent group I was with and the advice was so beneficial.

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15 May 2013


The first 2013 ILP group completed their five day program last month with a celebratory graduation.

The program kicked off with a presentation by Matt Pfahlert, the 1996 Sir Weary Dunlop 'Young Australian of the Year' Extraordinary Achievement Award recipient.

Between 1989 and 2005, Matt worked with 'at risk' young people and their families conducting a range of outdoor wilderness experiences focussed on life skills and personal growth. After working for a number of national and state-wide youth organisations, at age 24, Matt founded the Typo Station youth project in 1993 (now named Evolve) where he was CEO for eleven years. 

Since 2002, Matt has been a board member of the Telstra Foundation a national philanthropic organisation supporting children and young people.

Matt generously shared his life journey and the personal experiences that have influenced his decisions and choices that ignited his leadership journey.

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6 May 2013 By Abby Pearce, KPMG


Day 5…final day of our program.  The day is met with anticipation, sadness, but also a burning question ““Where to now? What can I do with this new found knowledge?”

Today has certainly provided a time to reflect on the program’s key messages and to think about the future.  Personally, I enjoyed the chance to take time-out and reflect on not only my own leadership style, but what I would like my leadership style to look like.  Where are the gaps?  What could I be doing better?  These questions now seem easy to answer.  I am no longer focusing on the “why?”  but the “why not?” 

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30 April 2013 By Jenny Sim


The day started with us reflecting on the three leadership qualities we would like to develop. I found repeating this activity to be a very useful exercise as it served to reinforce the importance of focusing and developing on our leadership strengths.

Our first speaker of the day was James Garriock. James was an inspiring and engaging speaker. Through his personal journey, I saw in him the leadership traits we would like to acquire, bravery in the midst of adversity, resilience and authenticity. James’s pearls of wisdom, ranging from Leavitt’s diamond, culture and climate, engagement and alignment, were eagerly soaked up by us.

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30 April 2013 By Emily Bogue


How are you? Three little words that count...

Self-awareness is a bit of a pain isn’t it? Here I am, quite content in my bubble – start at 8, head down, bum up, and when everyone else wanders in at 8.30 or 9 and chats away about their weekend or last night’s TV shows, I’m keeping the greetings to a bare minimum. I want to keep the workload under control and get out on time (yep, waaaay at the other end of the day - I’m thinking ahead).

I like to think that people see me as open and friendly, that I’m as approachable and easygoing as some of the best leaders in our workplace, that people feel they can approach me for support anytime.

But Ignite is making me re-think all this. What message is the head down, bum up approach sending? Am I being the person my colleagues need me to be? Am I using emotional intelligence to better understand those around me? Am I playing to my strengths?

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22 April 2013 By Erin Hunter


After three days of the Igniting Leadership Program I knew I was on to something good. Each session was fruitful, insightful and challenging. So when I reflect on my experience so far, why do I feel tightness in my stomach and the notion of standing at the edge of a precipice in my mind? Hmm…

Even though I don’t know what these feelings mean for me yet, I am energised and excited at the thought of a somewhat foreboding change. There’s an opportunity presenting itself to me and I need to grab it with both hands if I am to be true to myself and my leadership potential.

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17 April 2013 By Barbara Aumer, Senior Manager, KPMG


Day 1

Today was about leadership qualities. We heard inspiring leadership stories from different speakers, and had plenty of interaction between our group (including role plays), allowing us to learn more about leadership qualities, our strengths and the ladder of inference in a fun way.

 

My three key thoughts from today's sessions were:

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17 April 2013 By Tony Sudenary, TAC


Last year I turned 40, which I suppose means I’m officially middle aged. And I suppose I tick most boxes for an Australian middle aged male from this generation – married, two kids, good job, comfortable life in the suburbs.

I cruise along in day to day life, focusing on what I need to do at work, home and at play. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good life - I’ve achieved a lot and, more importantly, I have family and friends that I love.

Then I enrolled in Igniting Leadership and I’m happy to say that this course may have ‘ignited’ more than leadership, it may have sparked the beginning of a mid life crisis…...or perhaps a ‘Crucible experience’? Let me explain.

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17 April 2013 By Sally Doncovio, Senior Policy Officer, Department of Health

Sally
Sally

Day two of the Igniting Leadership Program began with a video of the ‘dancing man’ or also know as that nut dancing by themselves that everyone remembers from the last music festival you attended. But then the video shows that the nut attracts a ‘first follower’. Others join in and the nut has been transformed into a leader and a movement is created. It was a great light hearted example to start the day off, and an opportunity to personally reflect on whether I am brave enough to be the nut and would I be brave enough to be the first follower and support those people who have the seemingly ‘crazy’ within my own organisation.  

Day two was all about values.  Richard Dent ran through some of the theory behind leadership and explained that model of vision + influence + ethics = leadership. Richard asked the rooms questions about leaders – Margaret Thatcher, Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler, Atticus Finch, Mother Theresa. What do you think about these leaders? Did they have vision, influence and ethics? Richard did a fantastic job of questioning the group, challenging people and bringing them out of their comfort zones.

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15 April 2013 By Dale Ahern, Communication Advisor, Dept of Premier and Cabinet


Last year, my office had a spare ticket for a Leadership Victoria cocktail event, so I put up my hand.

For someone with no prior knowledge of LV, being in a room full of alumni was a powerful experience. Everyone seemed to possess a strange confidence, visible in the way they voiced ideas, the way they delighted in meeting new people. And there was a strange sense of family about the whole gathering.

I decided that, if the chance came, I’d find out more.

Fast forward to today and there I was, one of seventeen eager participants gathered in the stately halls of Old Treasury for day one of Igniting Leadership.

Over the day, Cynthia, our bright and brave facilitator, steered us from being a room full of strangers to being a group who energised and trusted each other. We shared personal reflections, displayed our acting talents, and joined in a Ladder of Inference sing-along.

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7 November 2012 By Daisy Brooke, Alison Campbell, Zoe Cocks, Michael Dunn, Jordan Lewis, Victoria Reynolds


The Day Three focus of the October Igniting Leadership Program was on dealing with change and increasing self-awareness.

For Daisy, Zoe, Jordan, Alison, Michael and Victoria, Suzanne Loubris was a highlight of Day Three. She entertained the group with stories of growing up in South Africa and her many experiences training people in emotional intelligence. A key message from Suzanne was - emotionally intelligent leaders don't just react, they choose how they will respond to a situation.  

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29 October 2012 By Rebecca Douglass, Daisy Brooke, Alison Campbell, James Harman, Penny Scanlan, Matt Sinkinson


An enthusiastic group gathered together this morning for day 1 of Igniting Leadership, eager to hear others' experiences, learn a thing or two about our own leadership styles and strengths, and gather some practical tools to take away. And we weren't disappointed.

A small group of us reflected on our take-outs from the day, which included:

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11 October 2012 By Anna Malia


The ILP is similar to year 7 school camp. You are a bit nervous to start with, you don't know anyone, you're not sure who you are going to sit next to on the bus and by the end of the camp you know everybody by name and have created some amazing relationships. And in terms of what you walk away with it's like that feeling when you break from your ordinary routine and perhaps go for a long lazy Sunday drive, it can sometimes feel like you have been away for a week, instead of just one day. Time has a funny way of standing still and offering you some perspective!!!! Just a chance to look at things from another point of view. Well day 3 was just like that. 

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11 October 2012 By Robert Van Duuren


Jumped out of bed just after 6am this morning, had a shower, opened the fridge and found… no milk! First challenge for the day and I had not even left home yet. What was I to do about cereal and more importantly, the coffee to kick start the day? Eggs on toast was organised by my beautiful wife and a coffee in the nick of time upon arrival at the Mercure training room.

Day 3 started with an activity where we had to interact with the other aspiring leaders. Given we had all met, worked as well as socialised together over two days last week, everyone seemed comfortable to exchange their work, home and course challenges for the last few days. It was clear that Matt Phahlert as well as Louise Thompson made quite an impression last week and has generated plenty of discussion. Matt’s ‘diving board’ analogy and story about commitment as well as Louise’s Strength Deployment Inventory resulted in a great deal of reflection and thought. In fact, all the presenters on the first two days were terrific.

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11 October 2012 By Nicky Fernandes


Day two on the Igniting Leadership Programme and all the same faces are there - (no one’s run for the hills as yet... an excellent start.) In fact we welcome a new face into the group, and look forward to getting to know her and filling her in on all she missed the day before. The day starts with a very entertaining clip of ‘The Dancing Guy’ a lone nut that sparks an interesting dance movement, and a very lively debate at my table about the unintentional leader and the obligations and responsibilities inherent in roles - intended or otherwise.

The day progresses onto an insightful talk by Prof. Leon Mann on the 5 themes of Leadership during which he holds our attention by peppering an academic discussion with real life incidents and experiences covering all things from Gandhi to gender differences in the modern workplace. We worked in groups to discuss and provide suggestions and feedback on each other’s work place challenges.

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24 September 2012 By Vali Creus


My manager called me into his office late on a Friday afternoon and told me to cancel my training planned for Monday as I was going on a leadership course and he would send me the details by email.

On the Monday I got the details and as it was set to start that Thursday I madly tried to get all the pre reading and tasks done. I wasn’t really sure what to expect and didn’t have much time to think deeply about it all.

Day one of the Ignite course was an eye opener. It was great to hear the stories of the speakers' and the other participants. I especially found the descriptions of the speakers' crucible moments amazing in their honesty.

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24 September 2012 By Ross Connor


On day two of the Igniting Leadership course, many of us discussed just how much we had taken in from day one. Today’s session was going to start off with a look at the academic side of leadership, discussing our workplace challenges, followed by a look into values and finish up with a look at our ‘strength deployment inventory’ results. With that ahead of us I began wondering exactly how our lessons from the first day would fit with what was in store for the second. It didn’t take long for that to become clear!

Our first speaker for the day was Professor Leon Mann, and he dissected the academic side of leadership for us. These themes rang true for me, as we had heard from some fantastic speakers just the day before that had each shown us what it meant for them, if not in the same terms!

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24 September 2012 By Regina Lane

When I was asked what I wanted out of a five day leadership course, I answered simply, “motivation”, and if I got really lucky, to find a mentor.  On that basis, I could have gone home happy after the first session.  I was literally moved to tears after hearing of the transformational moment from our first guest speaker, Matt Pfarhlet, whose ascent to a leadership position at the tender young age of 24 was just the kind of motivation I was looking for.  His ‘just get in there and have a go’ attitude, which has clearly been his making, had my mind ticking over, and after getting some tips about the who and how of finding a mentor, I was already itching to get out there and take on the world.

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13 August 2012 By Amber Stuart

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Amber Stuart, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on day three of the program:

By Day 4 we’d really started to get into the swing of things – the morning cups of tea and rushed catch-ups in between the sessions, finding our place on the tables, drooling over the delicious catering and chewing on the first Mentos of the day. Day 4 had a good balance of inspiring speakers, group participation and time for reflection. I enjoyed the creative brainstorming in the World Café and in the session lead by Jenny Gray from Zoos Victoria. There were high fives all around during the review of our workplace challenges, and discussion of some of our weaknesses during the coaching practice.

For me, the most profound moment of the day came from our first speaker - James Garriock from Insync Systems. While I’ll admit that I thought the title of James’ talk sounded pretty dry, he was an engaging and passionate speaker and navigated us through discussions of performance, culture and climate – encouraging us to look at ourselves objectively and ‘be the person the situation needs us to be’. At the end of his talk James shared an incredibly personal story with us about being the person that the situation needs us to be - I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.

And that’s been the great thing about the course so far – reminding us that while we are leaders, we are also people. We've been given practical tips about becoming better leaders, and have also been encouraged to explore our emotional sides in a generous and supportive environment.

Amber Stuart is the General Manager of the Big West Festival, a community-based, contemporary arts festival for the Western suburbs of Melbourne. She has also recently become a qualified pastry chef.

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13 August 2012 By Jess Burrows


LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Jess Burrows, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on day three of the program:

Unbelievably, it is day 4 of the program.  It’s all going so fast and yet it feels like we’ve been on this program for weeks with all the different things that we have learnt.

First up today was James Garriock who talked to us about a systems approach to strategy, or as he said it, giving us the names of models to support what we already know.  Reflecting on the title of the session, I realise how much more than that we actually got from this time with James.  A stand out point for me was telling the whole truth, how often do we actually tell the whole truth and how often do you find yourself telling a half-truth.  James committed to telling us the whole truth and he absolutely delivered, being exactly the leader we all needed.

I could write and think about the concept of authentic leadership for days, weeks probably.  It’s somewhat intimidating and somewhat exciting.  It’s okay to lead in a way that’s true to me, WOW!

Jenny Gray joined us in the afternoon to speak about the “Big Issues”, it seemed so overwhelming, how do you expect me to identify an issue, make a compelling case, develop a vision and then put together an action plan to implement the changes??  After my initial thoughts I was surprised that as we went through it was so logical and of course I could do that.  By the end of the session my group were ready to go out and solve one of the big community problems, not only with an idea and plan but we were all so passionate.

The combination of speakers and learning from each other’s experiences has made today a great day.  I certainly left at the end of the day feeling excited about the opportunities of the future and the fact I now have more confidence and skills to make the most of them. 

Absolutely can’t wait for day 5!

Jess Burrows is the Project Business and Process Advisor at Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria.  Jess is currently looking at process changes that can be implemented to provide better outcomes for clients and staff and implementing new IT systems to support these processes and future growth of the organisation.

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13 August 2012 By Marcia Ferguson


LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Marcia Ferguson, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on day three of the program:

We geared up for three speakers on day three of the Ignite Leadership Program. Today focused on Change - how leaders prepare and manage change in their team and in themselves.

The speakers focused on proactive versus reactive responses to change - across a huge spectrum of mild discomfort to trauma. An in-depth analysis of the neurobiology governing our responses to unexpected and the challenging situations was of particular interest. One of the highlights today was the Great Debate. People nominated topics for debate, everyone voted, then threw themselves into the most challenging role - debater, chair, adjudicator and so on. In a close contest, the Affirmatives won the debate not on points but on the gut feeling of the adjudicators!  This was the right way to go (no bias). The topic was  "Organisations need more managers than leaders". 

We also looked at emotional intelligence, in particular, strategies for pausing before acting, how to recognise when change might lead to some kind of learning and when it leads down the path of judgement, denial, blame etc. The lesson of the day was garnering a whole range of information that helps your team work most productively, happily and feel engaged - or, in the words of one speaker, how to find your bliss by helping others.

I'm loving this course - it is inspirational. It's the kind of stuff you wish you'd known ten years ago. Most of all, I'm enjoying being in a room of other people who share common feelings around leading and leading well. You're never alone in a workplace, but you can feel alone was a leader - in that room, I don't feel like I'm alone! 

Marcia is the Artistic Director of Big West Festival,  one of the leading community-based contemporary arts festivals in Australia. Held over 10 days from 22 November to 1 December 2013, our biennial Festival programs events and activities showcasing the exceptional and diverse cultural, economic and industrial qualities of Melbourne’s West. Our activities are firmly based in contemporary arts practice, celebrate local identity, and resonate on a national scale. Big West Festival supports and facilitates collaborations between Western region communities and professional artists to create work that reflects and is driven by, the local community. Marcia has a long track record in contemporary and community arts, including 12 years with world-renowned Back to Back Theatre, first as a freelance director and later as Artistic Associate.

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6 August 2012 By Erin Kan

Erin Kan
Erin Kan

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Erin Kan, a participant in ILP for August 2012, reflects on the program:

Our first task on Day One of the Igniting Leadership Course, was to write down what we wanted to get out of the course and what our expectations were. To be honest, I felt a bit silly writing down, “I want to get the self confidence to actually believe that I’m already a leader in my organisation.”

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6 August 2012 By Sophie Holdenson

Sophie Holdenson
Sophie Holdenson

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Sophie Holdenson, a participant in ILP for August 2012, reflects on the program:

What do peaceful protests, Adolf Hitler and repeating grade 6 all have in common? Day 1 of the Igniting Leadership program! My boss is currently a Williamson participant, and having attended Williamson functions I was conscious that this was not going to be the usual leadership program where you are talked at about leadership theories - and day 1 did not disappoint.

We started the day with Matt Pfahlert, who inspired us all with his story about his journey as a leader starting his own not-for-profit organisation at age 24. The bravery of making this leap at such a young age really impressed me. Whilst Matt conceded that his youth and lack of commitments at the time gave him more room to take this risk, it takes true integrity and determination to take the leap on such a venture.

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6 August 2012 By Tamara Chalmers

Tamara Chalmers
Tamara Chalmers

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Tamara Chalmers, a participant in ILP for August 2012, reflects on the program:

WOW! I feel like I have just stepped off the Gravitron ride at the Royal Melbourne Show. Day two of the Ignite Leadership course has come to a halt and so has my ride for the week. I feel like I have been tipped upside down and spun from side to side. I knew it wasn't going to be a carousel ride but boy oh boy!

My ideals have been challenged and now I am faced with some rude awakenings. Questions have been put to me about my strengths, my weaknesses, what sort of leader I am, am I currently in the right role, am I using my skills to their best ability?

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2 August 2012 By Anna Scott

Anna Scott
Anna Scott

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Anna Scott, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on day three of the program:

As I write this, I'm spoilt with a wonderful view of the Noosa Beach. The crystal blue surf is sparking, as the ever graceful surfers take their turn to ride the waves. Warmed by the sun and inspired that I can wear a t-shirt and shorts in July, my thoughts drift back to day four of the Igniting Leadership Program.

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25 July 2012 By Tiffany Loft

Tiffany Loft
Tiffany Loft

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Tiffany Loft, a participant in ILP for June-July 2012, reflects on day five of the program:

It was with a slight pang of sadness that I began Day 5; the last day of the Igniting Leadership program. Nonetheless, a packed program was on the agenda, just as with the other four days. We got straight into it.

We heard from two very engaging speakers, beginning with the ABC’s Randall Mathieson, who spoke on the importance of maintaining and managing relationships. I found Randall’s insights and reflections extremely relevant and useful. I continue to build relationships of my own as I go through my career.

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24 July 2012 By Sacha Connor

Sacha Connor
Sacha Connor

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Sacha Connor is a participant in the July/ August program and below she reflects on Day Two.

How many lawyers does it take to win a debate? Apparently more than two!

As we near the end of Day Two of the Igniting Leadership course, tired but eager to put into practice some of our "A ha" moments, we re-energise with a Great Debate: "Bad leaders can turn good."

Extremely insightful and thought provoking arguments presented by both sides; not quite as profound as the guest speakers who shared very open and honest thoughts and experiences and certainly provided us with food for thought.

Speaking of food – a big tick from me on the evaluation form!

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23 July 2012 By Guy Sigley

Guy Sigley
Guy Sigley

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Guy Sigley is a participant in the July/ August Igniting Leadership Program. Below Guy reflects on Day One of the program.

Chocolate brownies. Raspberry muffins. Dozing peacefully behind glasses with painted-on eyes (Homer Simpson style). That’s what professional training courses are supposed to be about.

So why am I sitting on the tram at eight o’clock in the morning completing my homework for the Igniting Leadership course? Why aren’t I drifting lazily through the pre-9am rush knowing I have another day of kicking back ahead of me?

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4 July 2012 By Lisa Barlow

Lisa Barlow
Lisa Barlow

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Lisa Barlow, a participant in ILP for June-July 2012, reflects on the program after day four:

When I was asked by my Manager whether I would like to attend the Igniting Leadership Program I thought why not!  I hadn’t done any formal leadership training before and being fairly new to management thought I could pick up a few pointers along on the way that might be useful.  Now at the end of day four, I could never have imagined how much I would learn and take away from the program. I have an overwhelming feeling of being inspired to strive to be a better, stronger, confident and motivating leader, not only for my staff and peers but for myself both professionally and personally.

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4 July 2012 By Halil Ahmet

Halil Ahmet
Halil Ahmet

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Halil Ahmet, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on day three of the program:

Day Three of the Igniting Leadership course (28 June 2012) at the Old Treasury Building. 

I found the previous two days of the course a lot more thought provoking than what I had expected.  I was keen to hear more, but when I looked at the agenda and saw three speakers and a debate – I thought, wow there’ll be a lot to get through.

The theme of day three was “Change”.  Ulli Baxter of Ambulance Victoria, (a Change Specialist – great title) presented “Change: Drivers and Dynamics”.  We discussed why 75% of organisational change initiatives fail; ways of implementing change and Ulli provided a “change toolkit”.  I took away that a lot of preparatory work needs to happen for effective change, not surprising but I think the tool provided would help put a structure around it to achieve a positive outcome – I’ll keep it handy.

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4 July 2012 By Maria Catt

Maria Catt
Maria Catt

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Maria Catt, a participant in ILP for June-July 2012, reflects on day four of the program:

Day four of the Igniting Leadership program and again another interesting and inspiring session, this time on strategy and systems.

The presenters are great and have brought a wealth of experience and knowledge in their fields. As the program slowly comes to an end, I start to realise that there is no particular formula for becoming a good leader.

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3 July 2012 By Stephanie Elsdon

Stephanie Elsdon
Stephanie Elsdon

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Stephanie Elsdon, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on day three of the program:

Wow, what an amazing day! Today was easily the most actioned packed and the energy did not cease throughout the day. There were three incredibly inspiring guest speakers and then no one could forget the great debate.

The first speaker was Ms Ulli Baxter from Ambulance Victoria, discussing change within organisations. Ulli provided a fantastic insight into types of change, phases of change and various processes that can be used to ensure organisational change is successful and embedded into culture. Ulli also discussed the importance of resilience and consulting with those who may be affected by the change. One key message I took from Ulli’s presentation was that people don’t fear change, they fear loss. This includes loss of status, job security, confidence, routine or even power and control. This is something that I will always remember.

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26 June 2012 By Matt Gardiner

Matt Gardiner
Matt Gardiner

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Matt Gardiner, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on the first few days of the program:

I approached the Igniting Leadership program with a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. Would it be interesting and engaging? What would the other participants be like? Would I be “torn out of my comfort zone”, as the promotional material promised? As someone who is quite attached to their comfort zone, this last question was of particular concern.

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26 June 2012 By Renee Bowker

Renee Bowker
Renee Bowker

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Renee Bowker, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on the first few days of the program:

It is Day Two of the Igniting Leadership Program in Melbourne, and the participants seem eager to begin.  The first day has been a journey of inspiring stories, contemplation of leadership qualities and general interaction that yanks you from your comfort zone and makes you realise that this course really is about igniting something – and you hope that it’s leadership.

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26 June 2012 By Susanna Young

Susanna Young
Susanna Young

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Susanna Young, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on the first few days of the program:

So I think when I decided to do the Igniting Leadership Program I thought that I was coming for a magic potion – the thing that would completely alter my confidence in my own leadership style, tell me exactly what I needed to do to progress my career and life the way I wanted to.

Day one made me completely rethink this approach – no one is going to give me an answer because as our two guest speakers made plain, leadership is something that is specific to you and your true self. Only you can decide that you want to be a leader (or accept that role thrust on you), what type of leader you want to be, and only you can take the action required to get you there. Others inform and are impacted by your choices.

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26 June 2012 By Sandy Bell

Sandy Bell
Sandy Bell

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Sandy Bell, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on the first few days of the program:

It's the end of day one of LV's Igniting leadership program and my head is full of ideas, reflections and leadership possibilities - I am actually exhausted!

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18 May 2012 By Melinda Crimp

Melinda Crimp
Melinda Crimp

The Igniting Leadership program brings together young leaders and immerses them in a rich learning environment. The program offers a mix of dynamic guest speakers, scenario-based discussion and collaboration.

When I embarked upon the Igniting Leadership program, I was unsure what to expect. I knew that I’d be in the company of other managers and leaders, some new to it (like myself) and others more experienced. But I had been a little unsure of how the program would play out. How would I find it? Would it be interesting? Would we have to perform dreaded role-plays? How would they possibly fill five days with interesting and useful content?

Here is what’s happened thus far.

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23 April 2012 By Anna Thomson

Anna Thomson
Anna Thomson

I walked away from Leadership Victoria’s Igniting Leadership Program: Focus on Food feeling truly inspired. I must admit, I was a little cautious as I made my way to the program on day one: What will the guests speakers be like? What will the other participants be like? What on earth am I doing here?! However, these little doubts were instantly quashed when I arrived and learned that whilst we all came from different walks of life, we were essentially a group who were looking for the same thing – inspiration.

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2 April 2012 By Hannah Carrodus


While many Victorians were busy partaking in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival last month, Leadership Victoria (LV) and Foodbank Victoria were discussing food insecurity.

Food insecurity is something that affects over 400,000 Victorians every year; meaning that on any givenday families and individuals struggle to have enough food for all 3 meals.

This is where Foodbank Victoria steps in to help, providing food to our community’s most vulnerable people – whether they are survivors of a bushfire or flood or dealing with more complex, long term day-to-day issues.

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