Nurturing future leaders

Future graduates: 2018 Tasmanian Leader participants including Sarah Coulson and Ilya Brucksch-Domanski. Picture: Supplied
Future graduates: 2018 Tasmanian Leader participants including Sarah Coulson and Ilya Brucksch-Domanski. Picture: Supplied

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Applications for the 2019 Tasmanian Leaders Program are now open. The program has an outstanding track record of producing highly influential graduates and for more than 12 years has inspired and enriched the lives of participants, businesses and the state. 

Sarah Coulson, a registered nurse who currently manages the Northern Cancer Services Clinical Trials and Research Unit within the Tasmanian Health Service, said she felt inspired to join after meeting previous graduates of the program. 

“As someone who lives and socialises in Tasmania, I started to meet lots of interesting and inspirational people who had all participated in the Tasmanian Leaders Program,” she said.  

“I started to look into the program, and one of the first things that sparked my interest was the positive focus on Tasmania and building the capacity of Tasmanian’s to meet future challenges.” 

Only six months into the 2018 program, Sarah said learning to look at the “bigger picture” has been an exciting part of the program journey. 

“I think the big highlight for me is the group learning, you are put with 29 people who you don’t know, and you are faced with situations and challenges together, and you grow as a group and become this interesting organism of shared learning. 

“I love the sheer diversity of the experiences we have had throughout the program, some weekends we are looking at the skills that come with leadership and challenging yourself to look at your shortcomings, and the next you could be in a hothouse of the North West Coast looking at tomatoes.

“Both of those aspects are just important to the future of Tasmania, and I think that looking at the bigger picture is the most exciting part for me.”

The program is not just about developing individual participants; there are also significant benefits for the employers as participants learn new skills. 

“The program has expanded my outlook when it comes to challenges we might face regarding implementing programs or how we solve organisational challenges,” Sarah said. 

“The range of tools I bring back to my work has made a difference to the way I manage situations within the service.”

Current participant Ilya Brucksch-Domanski, manager of planning and development at Launceston Airport, said he would recommend the program to all business and community leaders “with open minds.” 

“I’d recommend anyone who is willing to open their mind to new and interesting leadership, personal and political ideas to consider applying,” he said. 

“The best advice I can give is to go in with an open mind and with no pre-conceived ideas of what you’ll get from the program, just absorb the learnings.” 

Ilya, who has been at the airport for two years, started his career as an architect before retraining in project management saw the program as a way to develop personally and professionally. 

“It wasn’t until a colleague from university recommended the program that I started to think of the benefits, I then took the idea to my manager as a development opportunity,” Ilya said.  

Speaking of the highlights from his six months in the program Ilya said: “One of the most interesting elements of this program is that there are so many people from diverse backgrounds and professions,” he said. 

“Getting to meet a group of like-minded professionals, has been a personal highlight.”

For applications and more information see: