The 2023 Future Shaper Cohort standing on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne.

Future Shapers 23 Opening Retreat


Recently our new cohort of Future Shapers for 2023 delved deep into the what, why and how of their program over two days in Melbourne during their Opening Retreat. With this came many curious and insightful questions, just the way we like it, and the passion in the group was unmistakable!

The group heard from our CEO, Michael Poulton on the Committee’s exciting initiatives currently such as renewable energy and Commonwealth Games legacy, as well as the importance of community leadership to our region. Our Chair, George Fong offered further words of wisdom on leadership and Tim Matthews, Chair of Central Highlands Regional Partnerships provided inspiration on creativity and disruption in leadership and how our program links to the priorities for our region.

The group spent quality time with one another, our Leadership Team – Adele, Ellen & Karina, and on day two we were generously hosted by Juliana Addison MP for a tour of Parliament House including lunch with Michaela Settle MP, Martha Haylett MP and Minister Harriet Shing – Minister for Regional Development! Our FS23 made the most of this opportunity to ask questions. Their time together finished with what was described as ‘spicy’ Parliamentary Question Time.

Reflections from the group demonstrated the impact that the program is already having on their thinking and leadership networks:

“The main word that comes to mind for the last couple of days is POWERFUL – that extends from the things I have learnt to all of the people I have met and the relationships that I have/am going to build.”

“We all come from various walks of life and yet I feel we connected in the short time we have had. I cannot put into words how amazing today was. The women we met today are intelligent, confident leaders who are doing amazing work.”