2024 Red Earth Community Leadership Program attendees include from left, Thomas Hunt, Kingaroy; Chloe Chudleigh, Nanango; Matthew McCauley, Wondai; Andrew Saal, Kingaroy; and Sean Martin; they are pictured with program facilitator Pam McAllister, centre

December 20, 2023

The Red Earth Community Foundation has wrapped up 2023 with its annual report back to stakeholders, dubbed “The Red Report”.

The get-together was held at the Kingaroy Town Hall Reception Room on December 11.

Chair Georgie Somerset introduced the four new directors who will be joining the Board in 2023-24: Liz Beavis, Andrew Bryant, Grace Campbell and Donna Digby.

A highlight of the evening was the announcement of the 21 people who will be attending the 2024 Community Leadership Program at the Bunya Mountains: Dan Patroni, Madison Wall, Melinda Thorburn, Jodie Robertson, Adam McCracken, Sean Martin, Rachael Halliday, Jessica Ehrlich, Amy Jobling, Thomas Hunt, Vicki Bock, Maltha Guiney, Shelley Eagle, Jason Wicks, Chloe Chudleigh, Jessica Eagleson, Andrew Saal, Matthew McCauley, Ashleigh Ven Der Linde, Jo Conroy and Moira Thompson.

This will be the 11th leadership program run by Red Earth.

So far 208 participants have graduated from the program.

Dr Chad Renando, from the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence, presented a preview of his report assessing the effectiveness of the program.

He said the alumni had made an individual and collective impact on the community, forging about 12,000 connections.

His full report is due to be released in about March.

Four of the alumni were then invited to speak about the life-changing effects the leadership program had made on their lives.

Amanda Wenck, from Gayndah, said it had enabled her to “find her tribe”.

“There is nothing quite like the Red Earth tribe,” Amanda said.

“My highest value point as an alumni is the connection to the people.

“When you meet someone that you have never met before,  as soon as that connection, that knowledge is established that you are both alumni, the conversation drops instantly to one of trust and connection, and openness and honesty with vulnerability.

“I have found that with every single alumni that I’ve met across the whole 10 years of the project.

“It’s not just network building, it’s a deep connection with people.”

Ms Somerset said she was looking forward to Red Earth’s involvement in another leadership program due to start at Cherbourg in 2024.

Red Earth Board members …  from left, Andrew Zerner, Carl Rackemann, Grace Campbell, Belinda Gangemi, Liz Beavis, John Carey, chair Georgie Somerset, Donna Digby, Bobby-Leigh Redgard and Andrew Bryant
Red Earth project officer Ros Heit and founder Karen Seiler
Emeric Charles, from Blackbutt, with Dr Chad Renando, from the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence, who prepared the Burnett Inland Futures report for Red Earth
Red Earth admin officer Jane Hodgkinson and director Grace Campbell
Jan Anfruns, from Stanwell  Corporation, with Cr Kirstie Schumacher
Acting Mayor Gavin Jones and Red Earth directors Carl Rackemann and John Carey

Ros Heit for South Burnett Division 6
Vote 1 Kathy Duff for South Burnett Mayor


Vote 1 Jane Erkens for Division 1
Vote 1 Scott Hernschen for Division 6

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