The first-of-its-kind NSW Nationals Leadership Initiative was held last week and was a tremendous success.

As soon as the program was advertised, the Party had an overwhelming response with more than 150 members applying for the 55 places on offer.

Members lucky enough to attend travelled from right across NSW – with a few of representatives from our Victorian and Western Australian counterparts – to Sydney for the two-day Leadership Initiative program.

Delegates came prepared to learn and discuss what it means to be an effective community advocate as well as grow their skills in leadership and engagement.

Eric Wilson, a digital-first strategist and founder of LearnTestOptimize from Washington DC, was the key speaker at the event. He’s a veteran of digital advocacy and community leadership, having held digital strategy roles at the American Action Network, Engage, and the US House of Representatives.

Eric relayed his knowledge on professionals working at the intersection of technology marking and leadership and opened many delegates eyes to the world of online advocacy.

Community leader Darrell Tiemens from Narrabri also discussed how to be an efficient and strong trailblazer, how to manage a team of volunteers and be a strong local voice in country and coastal communities.

Also presenting was NSW Nationals State Director Ross Cadell on the State of Play, Deputy State Director Thomas Aubert on Compliance, Sam Pearn on the emerging technology and Isabelle Gillespie on working with the media.

As we know, our grassroots members are the lifeblood of our Party and the feedback from attendees has been fantastic.

We are going to grow the program by rolling it out across the regions to help empower our members into becoming effective community advocates and ensure – as Nationals – we can continue to be the strong regional voice we’re known for.lik

So, for members who want to learn from some of the best community organisers about how to develop your skills in community advocacy and running local projects, watch this space!

Through harnessing these tools, our members can help effect positive change in their local community – from advocating from small-scale requests like an upgrade to the changing rooms at the local football club to major projects like a new hospital.

And of course, we must thank our organisers Alana Black and Lizzie Egan!