2021 Leadership and Mentoring Program

About: Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program

Do you want to improve your leadership skills? The Victorian Rural Women’s Network (the Network) offers funded places for eligible Victorian-based rural women on highly regarded leadership and mentoring programs.

Funded places are available to Victorian-based rural women who are connected to agriculture or the agriculture supply chain. The Network is proud to partner with three program providers to offer funded places in 2020 and 2021:

Which program is for you?

The Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program (the Program) is designed for rural Victorian women at every stage of their leadership journey, from emerging to experienced leaders and offers the opportunity to gain board experience.

The Network is delighted to be doubling the number of funded places on offer in 2021 on Leadership Victoria’s Williamson Leadership Program (two funded places for senior leaders) and The Observership Program (six funded places for women seeking board experience). Applications open from mid-July 2020 through to early 2021 for the 2021 intake. Which program is right for you?

Are you an emerging leader?

If you are a rural Victorian woman connected with agriculture who is at entry to mid-career leadership level, see:

Regional Leadership 2021                        

Do you live in Victoria’s Alpine Valleys, Ballarat, Goulburn Murray or Wimmera districts?

Applications for:

Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program open: 3 August 2020 – 20 September 2020 – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

(Covering the shires of Alpine, Benalla, Indigo, Mansfield, Moira, Towong, Wangaratta and Wodonga)

Leadership Ballarat + Western Region Program open: (Dates TBC) 

(Covering the shires of Ararat, Ballarat, Golden Plains, Hepburn, Moorabool and Pyrenees)

 Goulburn Murray Community Leadership Program open: Now – Friday 30 October 2020 – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

(Covering the shires of Benalla, Campaspe, Greater Shepparton, Mitchell, Moira, Murrindindi and Strathbogie)

Leadership Wimmera Program open: (Dates TBC) 

(Covering the shires of Hindmarsh, Horsham, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack)

All 10 regional areas of this program have been included between 2019-2021. Regional Leadership logo


Are you a senior leader? – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

If you are a high-achieving rural Victorian woman connected with agriculture who has 10-plus years’ leadership experience, see:

Williamson Leadership Program 2021

Applications open: Mid-July 2020

Applications close: 30 September 2020


If you are a high-achieving rural Victorian woman connected to agriculture who is an experienced mid-senior leader, see:


NEW PROGRAM: Women Leading Now 2020


An intensive, two-day, virtually-delivered leadership program. (Four funded places)


Applications open: Monday 14 September 2020

Applications close: Monday 26 October 2020

Delivery dates: Monday 23 November 2020 and Tuesday 24 November 2020

To apply, see the Women Leading Now application form.

Applications for funded places in 2021 open: (Dates TBC)

Do you aspire to be on a board? – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

If you are a rural Victorian woman connected to agriculture who wants an introduction to board skills, The Observership Program offers the opportunity to gain valuable experience sitting as an ‘observer’ on a board.

The Observership Program 2021

Applications open: 20 July 2020

Applications close: 16 August 2020


Applicants for the Leadership & Mentoring Program must:
  • be a Victorian Rural Women’s Network subscriber. You can subscribe at: https://extensionaus.com.au/VRWNetwork/subscribe-to-the-victorian-rural-womens-network/;
  • be a regional or rural woman who permanently resides in Victoria; and
  • be involved in the Victorian agriculture sector and/or the Victorian agriculture supply chain.
  • Selected candidates will be expected to participate in a range of communications activities connected to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network including: Newsletter and magazine articles; social media posts; website stories; potential media opportunities; other opportunities related to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network.
  • A capped out-of-pocket expenses allowance is available on a case-by-case basis for travel, accommodation, child-minding and other potential costs that might prevent potential candidates from participating in this program. Details will be supplied on securing a funded place.
In addition, applicants must meet the eligibility and selection criteria on each of the individual partnered program websites. For more information on eligibility and selection criteria for each of the individual programs, visit https://extensionaus.com.au/VRWNetwork/leadership-and-mentoring-program/ Further information relevant to specific scholarship programs and relevant criteria can also be found at: The Observership Program Regional Leadership Leadership Victoria
As part of the assessment process for a funded placement, successful applicants will need to demonstrate how they will take their learnings from the funded placement into the Victorian agricultural sector to benefit the sector going forward. Diversity and inclusion Recipients of funded placements on The Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program will also represent the diversity of Victoria’s women involved in the Victorian agriculture sector and the Victorian agriculture supply chain by sector, geographical location, professional experience and personal background. Previously unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to reapply. Complaints process Complaints, enquiries and feedback in relation to the processing of applications should be sent to vrwnetwork@agriculture.vic.gov.au. If an applicant, or any other person, continues to be dissatisfied with the administration of the Program they may raise their concerns with the Victorian Ombudsman. The Victorian Ombudsman may be contacted by telephone on (03) 9613 6222, or email at ombudsman@ombudsman.vic.gov.au. Other Agriculture Victoria employees are not eligible to apply for the Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program funded places. The provision of any funded places through the Leadership & Mentoring Program will be solely at the discretion of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (the “Department”). The Department in its absolute discretion may review and amend the Leadership & Mentoring Program Guidelines.