Our Catchments Our Communities Leadership Development Grants

What is Our Catchments Our Communities Leadership Development Grants?

The Our Catchments Our Communities Leadership Development Grants is a program designed to strengthen skills and capabilities while fostering a new generation of leaders in catchment management.



The Our Catchments, Our Communities Leadership Development Grants support the development of future leaders in integrated catchment management in Victoria.

Integrated catchment management is the coordinated management of land, water and biodiversity resources based on catchment areas. This approach incorporates environmental, economic and social considerations and seeks to ensure the long-term viability of natural resource systems and human needs across current and future generations.

Our Catchments Our Communities is Victoria’s first state-wide integrated catchment management strategy and is funded from the Victorian Government’s $222m investment to implement Water for Victoria. Specifically, the grants contribute to achieving Goal 1 of the Strategy: Effective community engagement in catchment management.



Funding of up to $10,000 will be provided for travel, study, research or other activities that contribute to leadership or professional development for integrated catchment management. The grants to be awarded in the following categories:

  • Innovation – new approaches and knowledge to address contemporary issues
  • Aboriginal Leadership – recognising and supporting Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians as leaders
  • Women in Leadership – improving diversity and inclusion and the opportunity for women to lead

The 2020 grants will be the final round concluding the current program that began in 2017. Grants recipients are required to share the knowledge and experience gained with others to strengthen the catchment management sector.


Eligible Projects

The grants are to be used for activities that support leadership or professional development such as travel, study, research or training. Eligible activities include:

  • Registration costs for training, course/s, or leadership program/s
  • Travel costs (transport, accommodation, meals) – all flights must be economy class
  • Costs associated with research, excluding purchase of equipment
  • Administrative costs associated with your professional development activity (e.g. communication materials, photocopying and printing)


Eligible Applicants

These grants provide funds for activities that support early and mid-career individuals who have a demonstrated track record of accomplishment, are seeking to tackle big challenges, and aim to make an impact in the field of integrated catchment management and/or natural resource management.

The grants are open to individuals working in the natural resource management sector for:

  • Government agencies or bodies
  • Private sector businesses and agencies
  • Educational institutions
  • Local government authorities
  • Not-for-profit organisations
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Community networks and groups

Please note: only Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders are eligible to apply for the Aboriginal Leadership category.



Applications close 27 March 2020.


2019 Recipients

Jennifer Emeny: $8,428 Women in Leadership Grant
Jenny plans to attend two courses run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors- the ‘Company Director’ and ‘Boardroom Effectiveness for Women’ training courses that will help her develop the skills necessary to be an effective board member who is ready to take on an NRM-related board role and will complement her wealth of NRM experience in the region.

Jacqueline Salter: $7,750 Women in Leadership Grant
Jacqui will attend the ‘2019 Women in Leadership’ program run by Leadership Victoria and will use the experience and knowledge she gains through this program to establish a mentoring program for women on the Mornington Peninsula and surrounds who are passionate about integrated catchment management and who would benefit from the support of experienced female leaders in the field.

Danny Pettingill: $6,724 Innovation Grant
Danny plans to undertake training at the Australian Groundwater School and the Mulloon Institute to further develop his understanding of hydrology, natural sequence farming and identifying and capitalising on natural assets within landscapes to enhance production and maximise year-round vegetation ground cover.

Melinda Kennedy: $5,600 Aboriginal Leadership Grant
Melinda will undertake a two-week visit to two key South Australian water precedents- River Torrens Linear Park, that has existed since the early 1970s, and the about-to-commence Sturt River Catchment Linear Park.


2018 Recipients

Kellie Nichols: $8,500 Women in Leadership Grant
Kellie will be using her grant to Support Women in Landcare to become Community Leaders.

Kaleana Reyland: $5,000 Aboriginal Leadership Grant
Kaleana will be using her grant to better understand water policy and ecology and take part in training to increase her capability to support Traditional Owners to advocate for their water rights.

Bradley Costin: $5,584 Innovation Grant
Bradley is using his grant to improve catchment health opportunities through innovative water conservation farming practices.

Leonie Duncan: $7,750 Innovation Grant
Leonie will use her grant to apply innovative behaviour change methods to enhance landholder engagement.


2017 Recipients

Sarah Halligan: $6,700 Women in Leadership Grant
Sarah undertook a leadership coaching course to build her skills to assist the development of the Women in Sustainable Agriculture (WiSA) leadership group founded in 2016

Jaclyne Scally: $8,230 Innovation Grant
Jaclyne undertook a study tour through Australia and New Zealand, learning about innovative management approaches that achieve positive outcomes for the environment and private landholders in Victoria’s estuarine environments.

Marilyne Nicholls: $9,490 Aboriginal Leadership Grant
Marilyn undertook training in wetland ecology and management and received cultural mentorship from senior Traditional Owner community leaders with experience in cultural waterway management.

Bill Nicholson: $5,500 Aboriginal Leadership Grant
Bill attended a fire workshop in Cape York to build cultural knowledge to support him in his role as an Elder, particularly on fire, ecology, and catchment management issues.


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