Farmers and people working in agriculture to medical staff, a teacher and rural financial counsellor are among the network from Western NSW who are taking part in this year's Drought Resilience Leaders Development program.
The program is an initiative of the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund designed to strengthen the future of regional communities through capacity building and collaboration.
The program will be delivered over eight days and focus on topics including adaptive leadership, change theory, personal and community resilience, climate science, problem solving, mental and physical wellbeing, scenario planning, influence and network leadership.
With the second session to be held online, participants will then meet again in person in Mutawintji National Park for the final development session in early April 2022.
Narromine farmer and participant Nano Moody said the program not only helped her enhance her skills, but connect with people who could help her achieve her goal.
"We've just come through the worst drought ever experienced and the negative impact of it on our mindset was huge," she said.
We've just come through the worst drought ever experienced and the negative impact of it on our mindset was huge.Narromine farmer Nano Moody
"In recent times I have taken courses to learn resilience skills to more effectively manage my mindset. I was blown away by how much these skills have helped me and it has ignited my passion to get these skills to as many rural people as possible, especially our rural children."
After undertaking the program participants can support resilience action Western NSW through Community Engagement Grants.
Participants will have the opportunity to apply for a $4000 grant each and can elect to work on an initiative individually or collectively buddy up with a few others and combine those resources to deliver a joint project.
"Having the ability to help others change their mindset is a valuable skill to have and I look forward to drawing on other program participant's knowledge and expanding my network," Ms Moody said.
"I also plan on applying for a grant at the end of the program, to set up a pilot program focusing on such resilience building techniques."
Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) Chief Executive Matt Linnegar congratulated the Western NSW participants who put their hands up to take part in such a unique opportunity.
"The program is bringing together a group of dedicated locals who are passionate about building resilience in their region. Our Western NSW cohort are diverse and come from a range of industries and backgrounds."
Western NSW is one of 12 regions across Australia selected to participate in the program