Nothing BASIC about leadership program

December 9, 2023 BY

Advanced: Future Shapers community leadership participants have worked in groups to respond to local issues, developing projects including BASIC. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Committee for Ballarat’s Future Shapers community leadership program class of 2023 has graduated.

People from diverse professional and industry backgrounds took part over 10 months, aiming to boost their leadership skills and networks.

They also worked in four small groups to identify local issues and respond.

Adam James and his group created the BASIC project; an initiative about building communities, businesses and organisations that are safe, accessible, and inclusive.

“We’re shining a light on organisations that are doing great work, and acting as a conduit to help others implements similar things,” he said.

“You don’t need to invest heaps in capital to make big changes, because it’s often really small, inexpensive things changes that can make the biggest difference to the lives of people who may have a disability, be neurodiverse, or in the LGBTQIA+ plus community.”

Mr James said Future Shapers has helped him get his finger “on the pulse” of the Ballarat community.

“It’s shone a light on really good people doing a lot of good work, which isn’t always in the spotlight,” he said. “It’s also shown the power of collaboration to gain traction and initiate change.”

Ash O’Callaghan and his Life After Release group are working to connect ex-prisoners with employers to address skills shortages, and lower rates of re-offending.

“My confidence in communication has improved,” he said.

“I’ve presented in front of 60 people and done radio and newspaper interviews. The networking was also fantastic.”

Other groups developed the Informal Volunteer Awards and Safety4You projects.