Last week, Mudgee hosted seven participants in the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation's flagship leadership program, the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP).
The ARLP is a 15-month leadership development program which takes place across Australia and overseas, immersing rural, regional and remote participants in a series of unique experiences to develop their leadership capabilities.
The seven participants come from across the wider region - Orange, Dubbo, Armidale, Narrabri and Broken Hill - and are part of a larger cohort of 30 taking part in Course 27 of the ARLP from across Australia.
Due to COVID-19, the first session of the program was delivered in hubs across Australia, including Mudgee, Goulburn, Ipswich and Townsville in Queensland, Mandurah in Western Australia, and Mount Barker in South Australia.
Bernard Gooch, one of the participants from Dubbo, thanked the Mudgee community for their support and generosity.
"This week we have had the pleasure of meeting locals and learning more about the challenges and opportunities facing the Mudgee region," Bernard said.
"We thank all of those who donated their time to us this week to help us on our leadership journey, particularly Mayor Des Kennedy and ARLP alumni Melanie Trethowan.
"We also thank all of the local businesses who kindly donated funds or produce to help with the challenges set: The Horatio, Town and Country Mowers and Chainsaws, Mudgee Toyota, S&S Meats, the Mudgee Bakery, Gooree Park Cellars, the Cake and Dessert Co, Mudgee Florist, and Woolworths Mudgee. Your generosity and support is enormously appreciated.
"The strength of your local community has been very evident this week, and we'd particularly like to recognise two volunteer groups we spent time with this week who do critically important work in supporting locals: the We Care community shop, and the Volunteer Rescue Association."
The ARLP has been running for almost 30 years, and around 900 people have participated in the program during that time, including local Melanie Trethowan.