Northern Mallee Leaders Inc (NML)) has received long awaited confirmation that the Victorian State Government has approved an extension of its funding agreement for 2021.
A funding allocation of $148,810 has been approved to enable NML to continue the program until December 31.

NML operations manager Carrie Dichiera said that the organisation was encouraged by the State Government’s recognition of the important role community leaders play across all communities in regional Victoria.

“We thank the Government for its continued support and belief in our life changing leadership program and look forward to an ongoing partnership, as the Northern Mallee region works towards social and economic recovery post-COVID-19,” Ms Dichiera said.

“We also look forward to working alongside Regional Development Victoria, and all the local organisations, community groups, speakers and NML Alumni who were committed to supporting us in 2021 regardless of our funding status.

“The delivery of our program would simply not be possible without their support and we look forward to working with them in the year ahead.”

Mrs Dichiera also welcomed new NML Program Leader Kaitlyn Fasso-Opie, (PICTURED) who has returned to the region after five years away working overseas and in Melbourne.

Ms Fasso-Opie is a graduate of the 2014 NML program and a former Sunraysia Daily journalist, positioning her well in the understanding of the program, and issues specific to the Northern Mallee.

As well as her local news experience, including time as a newspaper editor in South Australia, Ms Fasso-Opie has worked as a producer for The Project in Melbourne, and as an output producer for three separate 24-hour TV newsrooms: British Sky Broadcasting, and Al Jazeera in London, and for Turkish national broadcaster TRTWorld in Istanbul.

“The Northern Mallee Leaders Program truly is life-changing,” Ms Fasso-Opie said.

“Every participant goes into the program feeling slightly apprehensive about what they’ve signed themselves up for, for the next eight months, and comes out of the program more confident in their abilities, more knowledgeable about their region, and much better connected as a result of the networking they’ve done throughout the program.”

“The people who know about the program, know and understand why it’s so important to develop local community and business leaders from our own region, into the future.
“And those who don’t know – well, we’d love to speak to you and see what kind of partnership we can set up.

There are a few places left for the 2021 Northern Mallee Leaders Program, which will be officially launched at Mildura Arts Centre on Friday, April 16.
To apply, download the Expression of Interest form at: