Invaluable leadership opportunities provided to dairy farmers and service providers

June 07 2017

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation has granted seven Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program (VRCLP) scholarships to emerging industry leaders across the state’s three major dairy regions. 

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 The Gardiner Dairy Foundation has granted seven Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program (VRCLP) scholarships to emerging industry leaders across the state’s three major dairy regions.

 The program encompasses a vibrant mix of scholars who will undertake professional development courses supported by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, to equip them with the necessary skills to contribute to the long-term future of the Victorian dairy industry.

 The successful applicants from the regional leadership programs are as follows: 

Gippsland Community Leadership

  • Sallie Jones - Lakes Entrance 
  • Ben Vagg - Leongatha 
  • Stuart Shattock - Baw Baw Shire 

Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program 

  • Aileen O'Sullivan - Mooroopna North 

Fairley Leadership (Goulburn Murray) 

  • Courtney Simmons - Katandra
  • Harriet Bawden - Shepparton 

Leadership Great South Coast 

  • Rhonda Henry - Allansford 

 Chief Executive of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Mary Harney, said that the Regional Community Leadership Programs (RCLP) build leadership capacity and empower Victorian dairy communities.  

“The opportunities scholars are provided through the programs are invaluable and have extensive benefits both on and off the farm.

 “We want to challenge dairy leaders and communities to adopt strategic ways of thinking. RCLP participants will be provided with the skills and confidence to achieve great success in their field,” said Ms Harney.

 One of the RCLP recipients, Sallie Jones of Lakes Entrance, has been accepted into the Gippsland Community Leadership Program (GCLP) and looks forward to strengthening her leadership skills to assist in shaping the future direction of the dairy industry. 

“I view advocating for dairy farmers within the dairy industry of the utmost importance. The vision of my business, Gippsland Jersey, is grounded on advocating for fellow dairy farmers and telling our story.

 “The opportunities available to positively impact the Australian dairy industry are endless and I am determined to hit the ground running upon completion of my GCLP studies,” said Sallie Jones.

 The collaborative program offers a number of valuable benefits to participants, including the development of public speaking and presentation skills, networking opportunities and hands on experience obtained through field trips. 




The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is an independent investor in projects that have significant impact for the Victorian dairy industry supply chain and wider community.

Since 2000, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has invested more than $56 million in cash contributions to over 715 projects.

For more information about the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, visit



The Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program (VRCLP) is a not-for-profit organisation that creates effective leadership opportunities to build a vibrant and sustainable regional Victoria. 

The VRCLP aims to develop a new generation of leaders across rural and regional Victoria, while developing a great diversity of participants to support the retention of skilled regional workers.

For more information about the VRCLP, visit


For media enquiries, please contact Wrights PR on behalf of Gardiner Dairy Foundation: Kate Dwight, Account Executive on 0405 270 910 or at