THE City of Whittlesea is launching a new community leadership program aimed at helping people build their skills to get more involved in making a difference in the community.

The council is hosting a panel of inspiring community leaders who will share their stories of leadership during an event to at the Civic Centre in South Morang at 6.30pm on Thursday.

Facilitated by City of Whittlesea chair administrator Lydia Wilson, ‘Exploring Community Leadership: small steps for big impact’ will focus on how every person can be more involved in their community and create meaningful change, as well as introducing our new community leadership program.

Ms Wilson will be joined by panel members Kim Stadtmiller, chief executive of Hume Whittlesea Local Learning and Employment Network; Sammi Tupper, entrepreneur and founder of TSID Clothing; and Kevin Kapeke, advocate, engagement coordinator at VicHealth and board director.

Ms Wilson said she was excited to be sharing the stage with three talented residents who were all leaders in their chosen field.

“We are fortunate to have these wonderful presenters on our panel who will talk about their own experiences of community leadership, providing practical examples of how they have been able to create change, both small and large,” Ms Wilson said.

“We have such a diverse community with a wealth of knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm to get projects off the ground, and we hope that hearing from our panelists will show that leadership can come from anyone within the community and inspire people to get involved.

“We want to help create great leaders of all ages and backgrounds to build stronger communities. That’s why we will also be previewing our new community leadership program at the event.

“This program is specifically designed for people within our community who want to learn the skills to help them make a difference, establish personal and professional networks and become more involved in Council’s decision-making processes.

“The community leadership program is a free program beginning in May that will focus on developing practical skills, personal abilities and knowledge of local government to empower people to take an active role in their community.”

The leadership course, delivered by The Public Valve Studio, will feature a mix of online and in-person sessions that focus on case studies with speakers to help build practical knowledge based on real world experiences.

City of Whittlesea residents aged 18 or older who can commit to attending all workshops, have an interest in developing leadership in the community, are motivated to engage in community life and have a desire to make a difference in the community are encouraged to apply. Support will be available for all participants to help them attend.

Participants to be selected through an expression of interest process, which will include informal interviews. Submissions close at 5pm on April 25.

For more information and to submit an expression of interest, visit www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/community-support/information-for-community-groups/community-leadership-program.

To register for the free event on Thursday, or find out more about the leadership program, visit whittlesea.vic.gov.au/leadingchange.

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