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"I now see the value of a leader who can inspire passion and vision in the people they work with and I am striving towards developing this attribute in myself"

Bodye Darvill GCLP '13

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Leongatha Leads the Way for GCLP Kick Off

The Gippsland Community Leadership Program’s first program day was held at Leongatha’s Federation Training campus on Thursday with participants from across Gippsland attending.
The program day was an important day in the leadership program reminding participants of the vast history of the Gippsland region that helps shape and influence the Gippsland of today.  The first program day follows the GCLP 2016’s launch in February at Inverloch, which marked the 20th program year since it began in 1996.

Local Boolarra historian Patrick Morgan gave a thorough presentation on the history of Gippsland and the obstacles and challenges Gippsland has overcome throughout settlement.

“Gippsland is different to the many other parts of Victoria with a dispersed population of over 250,000 people across the region and its greatest asset being the reliable rainfall,” Mr Morgan said.
Mr Morgan’s presentation also discussed the successive historical migration waves in Gippsland from the Indigenous population through to explorers, squatters, miners, selectors to modern day sea-changers to the cultural, economic and historical influences on the Gippsland communities.

Mandy Leggett, the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Officer at West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority also presented on the history of Gippsland’s Indigenous population providing participants with a greater awareness of the presence and traditional customs of the Gunai Kurnai people of Gippsland. 

The Gippsland Community Leadership Program will next head to the School of Student Leadership in Marlo in East Gippsland for a two-day residential session with the theme being Education in Gippsland and guest speakers including Mark Reeves and Robyn Francis from the School of Student Leadership, Snowy River Campus.

GCLP Program Day 1
Gippsland historical Patrick Morgan presenting to GCLP 2016 particpants in Leongtha

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Making Leadership Possible,
by Maree McPherson

Maree McPherson GCLP'01,
Lead Conversationalist 2016

Recently I had the privilege of inducting the 2016 cohort of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program and acting as host at the launch event.

One highlight of the event for me was listening to Peggy O’Neal give the launch address. Peggy has achieved much in her life, including becoming the first woman to be President of an Australian Football League club – the Richmond Tigers. She is a lawyer, a consultant at Lander & Rogers, former partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, and amongst her many achievements she was a consultant to the federal government’s “Cooper Review” of the Superannuation system and was appointed as a member of the Peak Consultation Group to advise government on implementation of the Stronger Super reform package.

Peggy grew up in rural America, in a small coal mining town. In her mother’s generation, girls left school and married very early. It is perhaps not the environment we imagine will produce an eminent citizen who lives on the other side of the world; yet that is exactly who Peggy became.

In her address, Peggy described her early motivations to succeed. She attributed much of her success to her mother’s determination that she should have access to a good education – one her mother had not. Her parents encouraged Peggy to take opportunities when they presented themselves. Peggy’s story reminded me of the many wonderful people of Gippsland who have gone on to do great things (perhaps somewhat unexpectedly) and the possibilities that exist for each of us.

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The Gippsland Community Leadership Program aims to identify and nourish the professional and personal leadership skills of existing and emerging leaders in Gippsland, contributing to regional growth and development of high functioning, dynamic communities.

Through the continued interaction with the community, business and not-for-profit sectors, GCLP is maintaining a global approach to fostering leadership opportunities which continue to enhance the profile of Gippsland.


The Gippsland Community Leadership Program; a program of the Committee for Gippsland in partnership with the Gippsland community will provide leadership development through:

  • First class delivery of professional and personal leadership skills and techniques
  • Professional management of an engaged Alumni
  • Effective collaboration with the Gippsland community

Apply Now

Applications for GCLP 2016 have now closed.

Information sessions for GCLP 2017 will be run throughout June and July this year. If you would like to register your interest for GCLP 2017, please email info@gipps.com.au