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Second Australia Latin America Leadership Program Delivers Results

A highly successful second Australia Latin America Leadership Program (ALALP) took place during October when 38 emerging leaders from Australia and  nine Latin  American countries came together for  12  days to  collaborate on  an  action-oriented examination of ‘Sustainability in the Context of the Australia Latin America Business Relationship’.

The participants were  selected from approximately 380  applicants who were mid-career professionals from business, government, non- government  organisations  and  educational  institutions  in  Australia  and Latin America.

The primary purpose of the ALALP is to assist in the development of future leaders from Australia and Latin America and to develop strong networks between participants which will benefit both the individuals, organisations and nations from which they are drawn.

Participants met together for the first two days at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where they interacted with experts in fields related to the sustainability theme.  Speakers were drawn from business, government,  universities  and  trade  unions.  

They  included  Jose  Blanco, Chairman of ALABC, who was the opening speaker on the first day, and three Latin American ambassadors from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, as well as a former Australian ambassador to Chile.

Three equally-sized groups comprising a mixture of Australian and Latin American then embarked on week-long field trips to examine the theme of sustainability in a variety of geographic and economic contexts. One group travelled to Queensland where they studied challenges facing mining and energy, among other issues, in cities as diverse as Townsville and Mt Isa.

A second group travelled throughout New South Wales, including the Riverina and Murray regions where they focused on agribusiness and other industries. A third group visited Victoria where they investigated technology-based industries such as windfarms. They also visited the regional centres of Ararat and Bendigo, as well as various research and educational institutions around the state.

The closing two days were at RMIT University in Melbourne where each group made a presentation on their field trip observations to an expert panel and submitted their final reports. Discussions based on the field trip reports enabled participants to draw comparisons between Australia and Latin American experiences in addressing issues of sustainability in a range of different contexts.

Many participants expressed the view that   their experiences in Australia could be usefully transposed to Latin America. Conversely, the Australian based participants were able to gain insights from the Latin American perspectives and experience of facing similar issues in their home countries.

Funding for the ALALP in cash and kind was received from 10 business, government and educational institution sponsors in Australia.

These included Mt Isa Mines – Glencore, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Council on Latin American Relations (COALAR),  RMIT University, University of Technology Sydney, the Australian Department of Education, Innovia Security, Pacific Hydro, the University of Melbourne, Austrade and the State Government of Victoria.

The ALALP Steering Committee was chaired by  RFE  (Dick) Warburton and  the Co-Directors were Brian Pickett and  Russell Lansbury. Further details about the program can be found on the webpage:  www.alalp.com.

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