Council seeks resident to sponsor in community leadership program

Published on 01 September 2021

Jerram Wurlod_cropped.jpg

An emerging community leader from Corangamite Shire will receive a $3,300 scholarship for the Leadership Great South Coast program. It is one of nine community-based leadership programs offered in regional Victoria.

Corangamite Shire Council will fully fund the successful applicant’s participation.

Leadership Great South Coast is an innovative development program aimed at emerging and new community leaders.

Participants in the annual program come from business, government and community sectors across Corangamite, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Glenelg shires and Warrnambool.

They gain knowledge, ethical decision-making capacity and leadership ability to strengthen the future of their community, organisation, business or team, and the region in general.

Corangamite Shire Mayor Ruth Gstrein said the program wanted to attract participants from diverse backgrounds.

“There are only 18 places so the selection process is quite is competitive,” Cr Gstrein said.

“It is designed to give participants the skills to make a significant contribution to their community.

“Anyone who is in a community leadership position, or aspires to be, is encouraged to apply.”

Last year’s scholarship recipient Jerram Wurlod moved home to Dixie at the end of 2019 after 15 years in Melbourne.

“My wife and I were keen to move back to the country for quite a while and keen to get involved in the community. I found the leadership program was a good way to reintegrate.

“Speaking with state and local leaders was really interesting. Discovering exactly how hard people work in the community to make things happen—from education or Local Government or healthcare—it was inspiring to see what people had to do to get things of the ground.”

One of the most important skills Mr Wurlod learnt was how to work better with others by asking questions and listening.

“You definitely get challenged to work closely with people you might not always choose to work with. But you also gain skills that allow you to maintain a positive and productive working relationship. I think that prepares you well for working with others in the community.”

Mr Wurlod worked with three other program participants to establish the Warrnambool Good Karma Network.

“It’s a Facebook group specifically set up for neighbours to help each other and share resources. It has a zero tolerance for negativity. It’s a safe place for people to connect to each other online.  We launched that in July 2020 and we’ve got about 650 members.”

The skills Mr Wurlod developed have come in handy both in the family business—Keayang Maar vineyard and Cellar Door—and in his role on the 12 Apostles Food Artisans Trail committee.

“I was able to bring a lot of those skills straight into the business, which was exciting. It helped me understand a lot of the course content because I was able to put it into practice straight away.

“Our oldest son is about to start school I’ll definitely become involved in activities as he goes through school. I’ll certainly feel more capable of putting my hand up and getting involved down the track.”

A reasonable commitment to is required. Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss their circumstances by contacting Executive Officer Amanda Hennessy on 0408 627 066 or

More information and application forms are available here

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