A Horsham scientist and industry leader has been selected to participate in one of Australia's leading leadership courses.
Dr Sally Norton is a senior research scientist and national leader at the Australian Grains Genebank in Horsham, working in the areas of seed conservation and producing resilient crop varieties.
Dr Norton, along with 29 others, has been selected for 2021's Australian Rural Leadership Program - a 50 day course of practical learning and mentoring.
She said the program was about providing unique and difficult situations to hone leadership skills.
"The ARLP program is about really providing situations and an environment for people to learn more about themselves by getting them out of their comfort zones," she said.
"Really think about how you communicate with people, how you lead people, and how to improve your leadership style so that you are bringing people along within your program, rather than leading from the front you are leading by example and they come along and really want to do their job and want to do a great job.
"With my role, I provide the national leadership, which is very much project based but also involves a lot of international and national engagement with a wide range of people."
In her role at the Grains Genebank, Dr Norton leads a team of 23, which includes scientists, technicians and higher degree students.
Dr Norton said she was approached by Agriculture Victoria with an offer to apply for the program, and was successful after submitting an online application and progressing through the interview panel.
"It is pretty surreal. It is such a fantastic program. There are not a whole lot of people who go through this program each year, and they are all regional-based people. I feel pretty privileged to be selected to go with the program," she said.
"In my cohort there are some pretty high-achieving people from around the country who are in this course. It is a nice feeling to be in that cohort of people, because it makes you realise you are actually one of those people to be there."
Induction for the program began in late July and was completed online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Dr Norton hoped she could provide an example for people growing up in regional Australia of the many opportunities available to them.
"It doesn't really matter where you are from, where you live, what you work in. If you want to take that next step and become a leader in your community you can do that in anything if that is your passion," she said.
"The world is a really small place at the moment. Really with the online commute that you can do these days to anywhere, there is really nothing stopping you from achieving what you want to do just because you live in a regional area.
"There's opportunities everywhere if you are looking for them, and if you want it hard enough you can achieve it."
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