Sarah Shaw (left) and Sarah Aberdein (right) from Burnett development organisation BIEDO together with Lisa Ryan (centre) at the Mundubbera workshop. Picture: Julian Lehnert
Sarah Shaw (left) and Sarah Aberdein (right) from Burnett development organisation BIEDO together with Lisa Ryan (centre) at the Mundubbera workshop. Picture: Julian Lehnert

Locals learn about creating change

A series of workshops for the North Burnett’s current and future community leaders went into its second stage this morning in Mundubbera, promising to teach locals the means to make a difference in their social circles.

The North Burnett Leadership series – a joint initiative by local and Federal Government as well as regional community and development organisations – attracted 16 of the region’s residents to the Billabong Motor Inn in Mundubbera for a workshop on creating social change.

The six-hour session was presented by Lisa Ryan, the director of Adaptive Leadership Australia, who travelled to the Burnett from Sydney.

“[The workshop] is a combination of social impact – the difference that we will make for our communities – and what it takes to get there,” Ms Ryan explained.

“My focus is on building collaboration and the mindset of leadership.”

The Mundubbera workshop was the second in a series of four aimed at exploring different aspects of leadership.

Organisers made the decision to come to the region after a similar program garnered great success in the South Burnett in 2018.

Ms Ryan took part in the 2018 workshops and was asked to return, to which she gladly agreed.

The workshop tackled questions about leadership, community, engagement and passion - resulting in sometimes emotional but uplifting discussions. Picture: Julian Lehnert
The workshop tackled questions about leadership, community, engagement and passion - resulting in sometimes emotional but uplifting discussions. Picture: Julian Lehnert

The former social worker, consultant and leadership specialist said that knowing the needs of one’s community was crucial to bringing about real change.

“One of the things that’s really important is to ask yourself: ‘What do I mean by social change and impact?’” she said.

“The clearer you are about that, the more it helps you think about what you need to do to get there.”

Ms Ryan explained that being a change-maker came down to negotiating both common ground and community-specific aspects; leaders must be aware of a variety of issues at any given time.

“I think there are some commonalities in terms of being able to work with different threads – being able to think about all of the potential developments,” she said.

“It’s about not getting derailed by conflict, because conflict is going to happen every time you bring passionate people together.

“However, it’s also really specific regarding who is in our community and regarding the things that matter most to our community.”

The third workshop in the North Burnett Leadership series will take place on March 23 in Biggenden and will be led by ABC journalist Pete Lewis.

The fourth and final workshop will take the form of a study tour to Toowoomba, where community leaders can learn more about social enterprises.


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