The Gippsland Community Leadership Program aims to identify emerging Gippsland leaders and support them in realising their potential and contributing significantly to the wider community.
Mark will use the course as an opportunity to develop his leadership skills and also learn more about Gippsland and its diverse communities.
“I’m looking forward to learning more about my own personal leadership style and broadening my views about what happens in Gippsland,” Mr Potter said.
“At CFA we can sometimes be limited in our planning around engaging and working with communities, and I have no doubt that this course will provide me with some invaluable tools with which to approach future fire seasons,” Mr Potter said.
“As a relative newcomer to the area I’m gaining a deeper understanding of Gippsland and what makes it tick. The course is providing great insights into the social and economic drivers of the region and I’m also getting to learn a lot about Gippsland communities.
“We had a fantastic presentation from the local Koori community recently, which is something I wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to experience.
“There was also a fantastic session about Heyfield’s ‘Sustainable Smart Towns’ initiative, which has the whole community working together to reduce its carbon footprint. Residents and businesses are flying flags outside their home or shop as part of the project, and the colour of their flag is determined by their level of commitment.
“This is a great example of a community successfully going against the trend of other similar rural communities that are in decline. It inspired me and gave me an indication of how communities can work together and build their level of resilience.
“It’s been good to work alongside people from other agencies. One of my colleagues works with teenagers to break the cycle of welfare dependency, which is a much larger social problem than I realised.”
This is the first time CFA has been involved in the leadership program and Mark feels it’s worthwhile.
“CFA has a number of future leaders in Gippsland and this is a way of developing them for the future, in a local setting. From my early experience I’d strongly recommend that we continue to be involved in the program.”
Regional Director Mark Reid commended Mark on being chosen for the Gippsland Community Leadership Program because there’s a lot of competition for places.
“This will be a significant commitment but I think this course will bring some real benefit to Mark as well as CFA overall.”