Kangaroo Island leadership program participants meet high-end SA leaders

KI LEADERS: KI Leadership Growth Program participants visited Adelaide business and organisations, including Food Bank. Photo: Sue Arlidge, project manager
KI LEADERS: KI Leadership Growth Program participants visited Adelaide business and organisations, including Food Bank. Photo: Sue Arlidge, project manager

A group of 11 leaders from Kangaroo Island are completing the last leg of their leadership program in Adelaide over two days.

The KI Leadership Growth Program has been made possible with the support of the Kangaroo Island Council and Commissioner for Kangaroo Island, as well as funding from the Federal Government’s “Building Better Regions Fund”.

The program is being led by Brian Cunningham, who has a strong background in developing leaders in the public and private sectors.

Brian is probably best known for his leadership at the Port Adelaide Football club, driving the development of a State based sporting club to a highly successful National AFL entity.

He has worked with the leaders for the past six months offering a monthly workshop and one-on-one coaching sessions.

“I have been really impressed with the dedication, commitment and sheer determination of these 11 incredible KI leaders,” he said. 

“They have put themselves through some gruelling personal assessments and committed to working on their strengths and tackling areas for improvement.  It’s been a tremendous privilege to have worked with them over the past 6 months.”

The leaders come from a range of industries on KI including agriculture, food and wine, community services, tourism, professional services, and local government.

The leaders will be visiting other high-level SA leaders, variously chair people, chief executives and general managers, from:

  • Coopers Brewery
  • Port Adelaide Football Club – Social Enterprise
  • Foodbank
  • SA Tourism Commission
  • Regions SA (PIRSA)
  • Phil Hoffman Travel
  • Zoos SA
  • Commissioner for Equal Opportunity

Participants have worked through a range of psychometric testing, individual and 360-degree assessments and workshopped issues, such as managing performance, emotional intelligence, resilience and handling stress, strategic thinking, building community partnerships, problem solving and decision making skills and strength finders action planning.

Mayor Peter Clements has been impressed with the program.

“These people are the future leaders of our community and it’s been tremendous to be able to offer them this unique and tailored experience and assist them to continue to develop their leadership capacity and capability,” he said.

Commissioner for Kangaroo Island, Wendy Campana, said the program had been a tremendous success.

“With the tremendous growth occurring on the Island, increasing leadership skills will ensure that we are ready as a community to meet the challenges that lie ahead,” she said. “It’s been a pleasure to be part of the development and delivery of this bespoke program developed around the needs of the leaders and provided by Brian – a great leader himself.”

Program quotes and testimonials:

The Kangaroo Island Leadership Growth Program has been instrumental in my tying together more than 30 years of business experience, multiple tertiary qualifications, a swag of personal growth work and decades of being a student of people into a comprehensive, highly-functional model from which to approach life.  – Kevin Riggs, wine industry 

A transformational program, using self-development tools to gain a better understanding of myself, my motivation and allow me to grow as a leader personally and professionally.  I’m looking forward to contributing these skills back into the community. - Stephanie Wurst, agriculture

The program that we have undertaken over the past six months has been both challenging and informative, offering so much potential for individual growth and development as both individuals and a group.  I look forward to seeing each and every member of our group continue to grow in their leadership roles, and how we can each contribute to KI and our community at such an exciting and dynamic time.  - Tamsin Wendt, professional services

An amazing opportunity to get to know ourselves better and then how others perceive us, can’t wait to progress my leadership journey and keep an eye on the good work being done by the other participants.  - Rick Morris, agriculture

Tangible, relevant, confronting and meaningful.  Possibly one of the most powerful professional development opportunities I have ever been involved in.  The program has impacted on every aspect of my life from professional performance, my personal life and my sense of self. I cannot be thankful enough. - Kylie Bamfield, tourism

Personal and professional growth development that has been incredibly influencing, inspiring yet challenging with great investment to our community and as individuals. - Kaila Kirby, freight logistics, community leader - sports

Entering this with an open mind was important.  At times I felt challenged at what I was hearing, but given the opportunity to unpack it helped me to understand my development more.  Being able to share our journey with the other participants helped to broaden my mind set. – Megan Harvie, food and beverage industry, community leader - sports

This course has been a wonderful journey of learning.  Not only about leadership, but about myself as well and the ability to use my strengths to help Kangaroo Island going forward.  I feel so grateful for this opportunity and cannot recommend it highly enough to people considering it. – Steven Morgan, agriculture

The Kangaroo Island Leadership Growth Program enabled me to realise we are not necessarily born a great leader, but with the right tools and practice we can become one.  - Tony Nolan, tourism, community services – sport and industry

Confronting and challenging at times with in depth personality analysis and focus on strengths and opportunities. Engaging and positive leaders with a focus on people led this course and imparted these skills to us. - John Howe, local government

The most challenging, inspiring and life-changing program I have ever been involved in.  Totally recommend it. - Bec Davis, human service not-for-profit