Why consider participating in the ADAPT Regional Climate Leadership Program?

Are you interested in supporting your local community to adapt to a changing climate?

We believe community leaders and volunteers have a crucial role to play, informing and supporting local business and community groups adapt to changes in our climate. As a region we cannot afford not to plan for the present and future climate impacts if we want to protect what we value the most.

We recognise the tremendous effort already underway across our Region that is led by sustainability groups, local governments, business and peak bodies. We also know more needs to be done to prepare communities to be climate-ready in ways that are inclusive, meet the needs of each local community and support those most at risk. That’s why we’re offering people who would like to be more involved in supporting their local communities an opportunity to participate in this program.

Do you have a climate change challenge, adaptation project or idea that you would like to investigate further?

ADAPT Regional Climate Leadership will provide opportunities for you to further explore a climate challenge and develop an idea for a community project to influence change.

Who can apply?

We’d like 25 people who want to serve their communities and have a keen interest in understanding and solving a local climate change problem and are looking to build their leadership skills. You might not even see yourself as a leader, but we believe leadership is the practice of influencing others toward a shared outcome and not just a job-title or position.

What is the ADAPT Regional Climate Leadership program?

ADAPT is a community leadership program, delivered in ten days, across six months in the Loddon Mallee Region (Mildura to Macedon Ranges Shires encompassing ten local government areas. (See map)

  • The program will be delivered in two day ‘residentials’ where participants stay in a rural community and learn directly from established community leaders, climate science and communication experts and policy makers.
  • Residentials are held in February, March, May and June 2020.
  • Each residential is held in a different local government area in the Loddon Mallee Region.
  • The program concludes at a Regional Climate Summit in July 2020.Participants will help shape the priorities of the Regional Adaption Plan.
  • TThe program is funded by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and is valued at $4,000 per person. Participants make a co-contribution of $220 each. Fully funded scholarship places are available. You can apply for a scholarship when you lodge your application.

Strong peer network

ADAPT will support 25 people to develop their leadership practice in building the adaptive capacity of their local community to be climate ready. In our experience, people leading change in their local community benefit from strong connections with others who share their sense of purpose and desire to influence change. Peer networks allow participants to reflect on different needs and strengths in their local community, different styles of leadership and processes to influence and engage community members. Learning alongside peers also provides important support to inspire and motivate each other.

Learning is grounded in local communities

We understand the value of learning from people with years of experience in grassroots community leadership. The program will include opportunities to learn directly from these leaders during visits in their local communities and by talking with stakeholders involved in adaptive actions or projects. We hope elements of their grassroots approach and practices will resonate with you and help better develop your approach to leading change. Our experienced community leaders will join a broader network of supporters and mentors, providing you with feedback on your intended approach to strengthen adaptive capacity in your local community.

Community of practice

ADAPT will grow to become a community of practice, where participants enjoy a sense of belonging and shared effort toward a common purpose.

Apply your learning immediately

Participants in ADAPT work on a community project to foster adaptive capacity as part of their learning journey. The development a community project provides an opportunity for participant to test out new skills and processes and to gather feedback on the effectiveness of their approach quickly. Participants learn fast and reliable ways of gathering feedback to rapidly improve their practice while on the course.

Enhance your knowledge of a changing climate in the Loddon Mallee Region

ADAPT will feature presentations and papers from scientists working at the forefront of climate modelling. Presenters will share their forecast of likely changes in climatic conditions in the Loddon Mallee Region and each participant’s local community. Participants will have generous blocks of time with specialist presenters, to explore the risks to communities in our region. Participants will be tasked with socialising some of this knowledge with their local community and sharing the diverse ways in which community groups and members respond to this information in the broader group. In sharing our experiences as community educators, we can enrich each other’s practice and support each other overcome localised challenges.

Contribute to a regional adaptation strategy

Your important work researching a local climate challenge and your ideas for community projects to address that challenge will inform the Regional Adaptation Strategy to be published in late 2020.

What makes ADAPT Community Leadership different from other leadership programs?

ADAPT is about leading for community adaptation to a changing climate. It is delivered across a diverse geographic region to strengthen skills in collaboration, teaming and building community engagement in shared effort toward change.

How we define leadership in the context of a changing climate.

In ADAPT, we define leadership as a process, integrating the head (knowledge and theory), hands (community projects) and heart, (transformational leadership, ability to inspire, motivate and influence change.)
In the context of leading for adaptation to a changing climate, that translates to deeply understanding complex issues and the interdependences of systems. Leaders need to cultivate ethical thinking, the ability to synthesise large amounts of information and translate its meaning in community using stories, symbols and examples.

Leading people to prepare for changes in our climate involves consultation and collaboration. Leaders need to build relationships with trusted partners and agree on structures and systems to make the most of their combined effort. They need the courage to explore new business models and the acumen to investigate and test the viability of new approaches quickly and when not successful, quickly move on.

Community leaders need to be purveyors of hope, inspiring and motivating others to change. They are story tellers, painting a picture of increased wellbeing, better economic conditions and benefits and improved relationships by adopting new practices.

What are the benefits for participants?

  • Join an energetic, capable community motivated to achieve change.
  • Learn alongside peers with established knowledge, experience and networks.
  • Be mentored by local senior leaders.
  • Refine your leadership skills in influencing, motivating and collaborating.
  • Build your knowledge and experience in new models of influencing people.
  • Make a real difference in the Loddon Mallee Region by elevating others understanding of complex issues related to our changing climate.
  • Develop an idea for a project and receive support to further refine and develop your concept.
  • Share your passion, skills and experience with others in the group.
  • Receive a certificate of completion at Graduation and the opportunity to make formal presentations to governments at all levels and regional business and community leaders.

How much time is required of participants?

ADAPT Community Leadership has been designed for busy people juggling other commitments. It comprises of four intensive sessions of two days each,

In addition to the face to face delivery in ADAPT Community Leadership, participants must continue their action learning between each residential.

Download the program calendar here.

Participation Fee

ADAPT Community Leadership is almost completely subsidised by the Victorian government. We ask participants to make a contribution of $220 each including GST to ensure you have some skin in the game. Fully funded scholarship places are available for participants with special circumstances. To learn more about applying for a scholarship place please contact Dona Cayetana on 0436 629 698 or via info@adaptloddonmallee.com.au


Participants must attend a minimum of 80% of program days, complete a presentation in their team at Graduation and complete a report on their project or product concept to complete the program and enjoy recognition as a Graduate.

What are the Benefits of being recognised as a Graduate?

Graduates join the LEAD Loddon Mallee Alumni, the 530 Graduates of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program and Leading Excellence Maryborough. From 2020 the Alumni network will grow to include Graduates from LOUD Leadership and Power to the People. Membership of the Alumni Network is free and connects you with community leaders across 10 local government areas in the Loddon Murray, with a monthly newsletter and valuable networking events.

How do I apply?

Applications have now closed.

You can also apply be calling Dona Cayetana on 0436 629 698.

Download a copy of the program brochure here.

Other things to be aware of:

Employer support

The application form requires support from your employer if you work full time. You must include the name and contact details of your supervisor at work, who can confirm your workplace will release you to attend program days and understands the value of the program in your development and the value it presents to your local community.

Dona Cayetana from the ADAPT Team is happy to take calls from curious supervisors and apprise them of the benefits of your participation. Contact Dona on 0436 629 698

Awarding places in the program

The decision to award a place in the program to a team or individual is made by the ADAPT Team who will read applications and make a decision within a week of the closing date. Applicants will be notified via email.

What if I miss out?

Applicants who are not successful in securing a place in this round may elect to join the mailing list for ADAPT to receive invitations to events and Graduation and early notice of the opportunity to apply in subsequent years and/or for other LEAD Loddon Murray Programs.


Participants may withdraw from the program due to unforeseen extenuating circumstances, however ADAPT Loddon Mallee and  LEAD Loddon Murray are committed to graduating 25 participants at the conclusion of the program and will take every opportunity to support participants to work through competing commitments to achieve success.


Community Resilience
Build capacity in our communities in an incremental way, rather than being prompted by severe climate events. To drive greater communication, effective engagement and collaboration across our region.

Build capacity for all types of leadership in the region. Climate change adaption action will incur some upfront costs, but in the long term will protect against the loss of health, wellbeing, growth and prosperity.

Equity and fairness
Identify actions to support the most vulnerable people, places and systems that have the least capability to act on impacts of climate change.

Principle Partner

LEAD Loddon Murray is a not for profit organisation, delivering community and leadership development through experiential, place based approaches. With twenty two years’ experience partnering with regional and rural communities, LEAD Loddon Murray is well known in our region for delivery of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program. Grassroots community development focussed on local people, their confidence, capability and networks in serving their communities is at the heart of LEAD Loddon Murray’s work.

We acknowledge the First Peoples of the Loddon Mallee and their/our longstanding, rich and resilient cultures, rights and responsibilities to Country, and genuinely pay respect to their/our knowledge holders, leaders, Elders past, present and future.