Brimbank leading the way to a brighter future

Article image - Brimbank leading the way to a brighter future Former Victorian premier, Joan Kirner, pictured at Victoria University with some of the 76 graduates from Brimbank City Council's future leaders' program.

Former Victorian premier, Joan Kirner, has congratulated 76 graduates of Brimbank City Council's second annual Future Leaders program.

One of Council's three administrators, Meredith Sussex, said the program provided leadership training for Muslim women, the Vietnamese community, women in new and emerging communities, environmental leadership and general community leadership.

"If you ever needed proof that leaders are made, not born, you needn't look further than the City of Brimbank." Ms Sussex said.

She said new leaders were inspired by 2010 graduates Amra Pajalic and Demet Divaroren, who wrote the book What a Muslim Woman Looks Like, a celebration of the diversity of Muslim women's experiences.

The latest graduates come from than 30 different national backgrounds and 65 per cent of them are women.

The program taught them basic community skills, networking, group work and community development.

Following training, graduates ran their own community projects within Brimbank's five districts, outlining why they wanted to be a leader, what they hoped to achieve and how they would work with their communities.

Ms Sussex said local Muslim women were also being encouraged into leadership roles through a separate program funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

"These programs have boosted our communities' capacity to become involved in decision-making and to advocate on their own behalf, as well as strengthening relationships between these communities and the Council." she said.