It is with great disappointment that we learn of the State Government’s budget decision to terminate the funding for our Future Shapers community leadership program (formally LBWR). Future Shapers is one of nine Regional Community Leadership Programs (RCLPs) across the state, all of which are now victims of the 2023-24 state government cuts.
Despite no further funding from 30 June 2023, Committee for Ballarat will provide all the necessary resources to ensure the Future Shapers 23 program is delivered in full.
Committee for Ballarat first commenced its RCLP in 2006, known then as LBWR. Since then over 400 participants have graduated from the program, many of who have gone on to senior leadership roles in Ballarat, the Central Highlands and other communities around the state.
In recently published research, it was found that over 98% of RCLP graduates remain in regional areas and in 2022 alone, they contributed over $158 million in public value through their volunteering and community leadership. We thank them for their commitment and contribution to our region and the state, many of whom will be reading this piece.
Committee for Ballarat will look to find a new approach to ensure this unique community capability is not lost. We will work with participants, members, corporate partners, philanthropic and the broader community to ensure the program can be supported beyond the end of 2023.