Fairley Fellow 2020
One of the key lessons Lana Young learnt during the 2020 Fairley Leadership Program was that being a community leader means constantly learning and growing.
“It’s something that I continue to seek out in order to become the best version of myself – it’s about challenging yourself to step out of your own comfort zone to grow and learn,” she says.
Now part of the Australian Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Agency, Lana works in partnerships with many different stakeholders across Victoria, serving as a voice from the regions back to the Commonwealth Government.
Lana has also completed the Goulburn Valley Drought Resilience Leadership Program, and most recently, she was accepted as an ambassador for Meat Livestock Australia’s Red Meat Industry program.
The Fairley Leadership Program helped Lana crystallise her core beliefs, and she’s passionate about ensuring upcoming leaders are supported to thrive, by leveraging the talent visible in the alumni pool to bring the next generation of leaders to the fore.
“My ethos is the people closest to the problems have the solutions – we need to enable those ideas and thoughts and embrace all,” Lana says.
“I try and look at our challenges and seek out the gaps or the opportunities by flipping scenarios and challenges, to seek what some think is the impossible, and create a vision to organically challenge the status quo.”
Prior to her participation in the program, Lana was involved with The Lighthouse Project on the collaborative leadership tables – work she continues today.
During the Fairley Leadership Program, Lana realised serving on a board was a crucial gap in her experience – something she says a lot of emerging community leaders grapple with, and struggle to change without an extensive network.
“One of the key gaps that I identified was the pathway to gain board experience and exposure – this was my project as part of participation in the program,” she said.
“Unless you’re touched on the shoulder or someone brings you in, you don’t get that opportunity.”
In fact, it was through the Fairley program that Lana heard of an opportunity an empty seat on the Greater Shepparton Connected Communities Board and successfully applied to join the Bendigo Bank affiliated board.
Lana embarked on the Fairley Leadership Program during the first year of the pandemic, and despite necessary changes to the way the experience was delivered, she met a “great bunch of extraordinary individuals”.
“One other key opportunities I could see was engagement and activation of an absolute amazing talent pool of the Fairley Alumni,” Lana says.
“If we’ve got 600 people who’ve been through a program, how do we harness that to bring those collective minds together to shape and lead a community?
“I’m excited to be working with Nathan Bibby and the rest of the Alumni Driven Advisory Group to bring some of these ideas to life.”
Lana wants to leave a legacy for future generations, and the Fairley Leadership Program taught her collaboration is essential to all kinds of community leadership.
“It’s about ensuring everyone is collected along the way on the journey, and the collective voices of our community are included in shaping what our future holds.
“Collaboration with the loss of the ego, to continue to think outside the box and capitalise on what we need for our future.
“I’m driven by showing up and inspiring who I can on my journey to become their best version of themselves, to seek and live by their passion.
“Chase the dreams you want for you.”
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