Mr Mauger, who was sponsored by RGA, joined 30 other leaders from across rural, regional and remote Australia on their leadership journey. The ARLP is a 15-month leadership development program that takes place over five sessions across Australia and Indonesia and is one of the most in-depth experiential leadership development programs in the country.
It gives participants valuable opportunities to nurture, challenge and build upon their leadership skills with people from diverse communities and industries.
Mr Mauger who also operates a mixed irrigation farm at Jerilderie, NSW with his wife Meagan and two children Olivia, 18 and Austin, 15 described the experience as life changing.
“The program has had a positive impact on my life in ways I never imagined,” said Mr Mauger.
“The interaction with my peers and feedback from them has led to greater self-confidence, the ability to take more risks and to be more open to new experiences.”
The course requires participants to spend time in a remote part of the Kimberley region of Western Australia, which is a unique part of the ARLP. The group is put through a series of experiences to learn about raw leadership skills and work on improving these skills and build on each other’s capacity. The programs are designed to develop leaders from the “inside out”, use experiential learning and critical self-reflection as cornerstones for development.
Mr Mauger said the Kimberley experience had a profound impact on him.
“The feedback gave me things to work on to be a better leader, such as having more presence and getting out of my comfort zone and speaking up,” said Mr Mauger.
“The challenges and camping in the Kimberley showed me that it’s okay to be outside of my comfort zone and to make the wrong decision. The indigenous issues that we explored has also had a positive impact on my family, workplace and community.”
Mr Mauger said another big learning was based around being more informed on indigenous issues and understanding the significance of connection to country and other cultural sensitivities.
“This has led to more in-depth conversations and acknowledgement of their connection to the land,” said Mr Mauger.
Mr Mauger added the fellow participants of the course had inspired him to consider what is possible and how to make a difference.
“I am committed to helping the industry and growers to evolve and develop a cohort of capable and effective industry leaders in assisting the rice industry to continue it’s economic, environmental and innovation success,” said Mr Mauger.
“I am committed to making sure that leadership development remains a strong focus for the industry and my community working with the industry to see further opportunities to support leadership development. I would like to thank the RGA and AgriFutures for the opportunity to participate in the ARLP and encourage others to apply- you won’t regret it.”