A COHORT of 20 aspiring community leaders has been named for the first South Gippsland Shire Council Community Leadership Program.

The participants from across the shire will undertake a nine-session program over six months, starting in October.

Council said the program aims to provide participants with a set of skills that will enable them to effectively work with other people, strengthen their leadership capability, manage conflict, delegate and meet objectives.

Administrator chair Julie Eisenbise welcomed and thanked the participants.

“Leadership can take on many forms,” Ms Eisenbise said.

“Some people might be interested in learning how to contribute more effectively in their community group or learn how to motivate people or to inspire cooperation. Others might want to engage with Council to effect change. We are excited to see what skills participants will take from the Community Leadership Program and how that will flow on to our local community.”

This year’s Community Leadership participants include Bena farmer and environmentalist Libby Lambert, Jennifer Young of Foster, Tom Gurnett of Gurneys Cidery at Foster, former citizen of the year nominee and Foster Cow Cow Café proprietor Anne Roussac-Hoyne, Ralph Gallagher who was a former member of council’s rating strategy committee and Leongatha Rotarian Sue Dutton.

Also taking part are Walkerville architect Isley Sutherland, Korumburra pharmacist Ailu Liu, Moo’s @ Meeniyan owner and manager Marty Thomas, Korumburra community members Sarah Kerwick (Milpara Community House) and Bronwyn Beach (Karmai Community Children’s Centre).

The Mirboo North area is well represented with Mirboo North Times community newspaper journalist Robert Waycott, executive officer of the Mirboo North and District Community Foundation Ruth Rogan, community member Les Harmer, and business owner Brad Snell.

Also participating are Miranda Wilson who is involved with the Leongatha Gymnastics Club, Josie Cohen of Stony Creek, Toora Community Action Team member and Toora Football Netball Club secretary Tara Hollier, Venus Bay Surf Lifesaving Club member Katherine Sumaru, and president of the Hallston Hall Nicole Pouw.