The Australian Government is investing in drought resilient leaders through the $5 billion Future Drought Fund (FDF).

The Future Drought Fund provides a secure investment of $11 million to the Drought Resilience Leaders program, which has been rolled out across twelve regions, including the Murray Darling Basin (Murraylands & Riverland) in Barker.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud and Member for Barker Tony Pasin announced 26 participants have been selected to join the Drought Resilience Leaders program in the Murray Darling Basin after a competitive application process.

“Farmers and members of the community here in the Murray Darling Basin now have the opportunity to join a cohort of forward-thinkers and work with others to drive action in their community to prepare for future drought,” Minister Littleproud said.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin welcomed the new cohort of future leaders.

“It’s a unique opportunity giving future leaders in rural and regional areas a chance to gain knowledge and skills through leadership development and undertake community activities.” Mr Pasin said.

“This program is about strengthening communities and ensuring that people from our own towns have the leadership skills they need to bring our region together in times of hardship.” Mr Pasin said.

“On completion of their Leadership Development, participants can then apply for a Community Engagement Grant to assist in the development of a locally-driven project to continue the work of building drought resilience for their communities.” Mr Pasin said.

Tammy O’Malley from the Mallee said that as a leader, she can help people make their way through the journey of being a farmer.

“The key thing to being a good leader is learning to be a better person and respecting other’s capacity and capabilities,” Tammy said.

Another participant, Steve Carn said the program was a good opportunity for growth and development and could help make communities more resilient.

“In farming we’re often using whatever tools or skills we’ve got and just getting on with the job. But at the end of the day, we still have lots to learn but a lot to pass on,” Steve said.

The Drought Resilience Leaders program is a partnership between the Australian Government and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Limited (ARLF).

ARLF will work with the next generation of rural and regional leaders to develop their leadership capabilities, encouraging them to work together with their communities to better prepare for drought.

For more information about the Future Drought Fund Drought Resilience Leaders program and other FDF programs visit:


A total of 12 regions have joined the Drought Resilience Leaders program including:

  • Goulburn Valley, Victoria
  • Central West Queensland
  • Northern Wheatbelt, Western Australia
  • Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
  • Gascoyne Murchison, Western Australia
  • North West Slopes and Plains, New South Wales
  • Mallee, Victoria
  • Western New South Wales
  • South West Queensland
  • North East Tasmania
  • Katherine, Barkly and Greater Darwin
  • Murray Darling Basin (Murraylands & Riverland), South Australia