Leaders for Sustainability Program

4 months, 1 Aug - 26 Nov 2016 Greater Western Sydney

Grow your capacity, your network and your influence to empower your community.

The Leaders for Sustainability (LfS) program offers a unique opportunity to create collaborative and empowered action in responding to the increasingly complex sustainability challenges facing Greater Western Sydney.

The program’s full value is worth $4,000 per participant, which is funded by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. The participants are expected to pay a heavily subsidised fee depending on their occupation.

LfS will build the leadership capacity and networks of emerging local government, business and community leaders. The program specifically focuses on skill development in the area of:

  • Visioning and creative problem-solving
  • Project ideation, design, evaluation and action
  • Communications and storytelling
  • Alternative economic models such as social enterprise and crowdsourcing
  • Collaboration, networking and capacity-building for self and community

What alumni say

I learned that leadership is about the skills we have as individuals to do good

DEBBIE FIRESTONE, Tweed Shire Council
Debbie Firestone revised

Who are we looking for?

We seek potential leaders with a passion and commitment towards addressing sustainability challenges in their community.

CSL seeks 20 emerging leaders from the Greater Western Sydney area between 18-80 years of age. We encourage a diverse range of participants, including local government staff, business and community leaders, social entrepreneurs and educators, to apply.

We look for a high degree of diversity with regards to gender, age, personality types and cultural backgrounds.

What alumni say

Eric Bollen LinkedIn

When you find the rare ones willing to initiate change, one must support them

Eric Bollen

Glenn Morris revised

We really need visionary leadership from prominent members of the community

Glenn David Morris


I just went for it and left FEAR for dead. I have not looked back.

Dolph Cooke

Emmanuel Bakenga photo resized

I want to see people coming together despite where they are from, their religion, or their culture

Emmanuel Bakenga

Jenna Conran photo

We need sustainability to guarantee our future

Jenna Conran

Malcolm Salmon photo resized

Leadership is important to be able to encourage others by utilising the skills I have learned

Malcolm Salmon

Program format

LfS will run for 4 months for 20 emerging leaders.

LfS incorporates CSL's online leadership course Rewired with an inspiring and impactful program and an outcome-oriented project. We expect a minimum time commitment of 2 – 5 hours a week, over and above workshops and weekend retreats. 

Evaluation will be through the results of pre and post surveys, including participants’ view of their ability to lead and deliver change, reflective journaling, coaching and facilitation observations and a final project report.

  • Week 1-2: Retreat One

    Phase 1 – ‘Going Within’. Participants will attend a residential weekend retreat which will be held at Regional NSW.

  • Week 3: Workshop 1

    Participants identify development and growth areas that they’ll explore throughout the program with the Team, the Fellows and a selected Mentor. They also define goals and strategies to make changes within themselves. This first ‘Going Within’ Phase covers much of the theoretical underpinnings of the program.

  • Week 4: Full Day Workshop One

    Phase 2 – ‘Stepping Up’ begins with this full day workshop. This phase is all about stepping up personally, as well as, collaboratively and trying on newly identified leadership skills. The focus here will be on the project component of the course and helping participants to either expand upon existing projects or create new outcome-oriented sustainability projects.

  • Weeks 5-14: Workshop 2 to 4

    Participants translate vision into action; in groups, they create a prototype project designed to test some of the tools learned in phase two. Participants see the power of collaboration unfold as they work with others as a team member or leader to create change.

  • Weeks 15-16: Workshop 5 and Retreat Two

    Phase 3 – 'Stepping Out'. This phase is about the participants zooming out of view from the more focussed study of their projects to the broader system of government, business and community. They will learn to build their circle and strength of influence to effect change at a systems level. There would then be a final residential weekend retreat.

  • Week 17: Full Day Workshop Two

    Participants will attend the second and final full day workshop on ‘Make Change Happen’.

  • Post-program

    Your CSL experience and Leaders for Sustainability journey doesn’t end with the conclusion of the LfS Program. Phase Four involves ‘Staying Connected’. We offer access to residential retreats, online learning programs, additional coaching, support, and opportunities to engage with the CSL community online and in person.

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Our facilitators are effective communicators and efficient task masters, skilled at guiding our participants to the top of the leadership mountain.


Sandi Middleton

Program Manager and Facilitator, Regional Environmental Leaders Program 

Sandi is a professional and creative facilitator, coach and program manager with a Bachelor in Science and over 10 years experience working in government, community and private sectors. She has extensive experience in leadership training, collaborative facilitation, adult education, individual and group coaching of all levels of government and community sectors, program management, and strategic planning. She is skilled in building capacity in emerging leaders, stakeholders consultation and relationship management, innovative program design and implementation, organising events and workshops and writing reports.

Laura Hamilton webEdit

Laura Hamilton


Laura grew up in the wild spaces of South Africa and cares deeply about land, including the people and animals who live there. She has a life-long love affair with learning and has over a decade of facilitation experience across NGOs, SMEs, Corporate and Government sectors. She has a Master’s in Education (Social Ecology), as well as, a Bachelor of Commerce (Business Strategy and Law). In addition, she completed the Fellowship program in 2013. Laura is genuinely incapable of containing her enthusiasm for helping others learn and delights in supporting them to realise their vision for a fairer, more sustainable future.


Our guest speakers are experts in their fields, providing participants with access to crucial knowledge and networks.


The program’s full value is worth $4,000 per participant, which is funded by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. The participants are expected to pay a heavily subsidised fee depending on their occupation.

Fee does not include travel costs.

Please read the Participant Fees, Refunds and Cancellation Policy.

Fee Type Cost
Government Sector $500 + GST
Business Sector $200 + GST
Community Sector / Student / Unemployed Free

Key dates

Event Date
Sydney Information Session 25 June
Free online Information Session 27 June
APPLICATIONS DUE 6 July midnight
Interviews - in person and Skype 11-12 July
Offer of places, enrolment begins 18 July
Program fees due 5 September

Program Dates

CSL Leaders for Sustainability Program Greater Western Sydney, 2016

4 months, August 1 to November 26, 2016, Monday evenings.

Event Date
Enrolment begins 18 July 2016 Monday
Pre-program Dinner 1 August 2016 Monday
Retreat 1 in Regional New South Wales 5-7 August 2016 Friday starts 7pm
Workshop 1 15 August 2016 Monday 6-9pm
Full day workshop 1: Projects 27 August 2016 Saturday starts 9am
Workshop 2 5 September 2016 Monday 6-9pm
Workshop 3 26 September 2016 Monday 6-9pm
Workshop 4 17 October 2016 Monday 6-9pm
Workshop 5 7 November 2016 Monday 6-9pm
Retreat 2 in Regional New South Wales 11-13 November 2016 Friday starts 7pm
Full day workshop 2: Make Change Happen 26 November 2016 Saturday starts 9am

Frequently asked questions

Many people have questions. We frequently have answers.

How is the Leaders for Sustainability (LfS) Program different from CSL’s classic and intensive Future Makers Fellowship Program?

LfS is a blended learning program, gathering community and local government leaders, thinkers and doers. It incorporates CSL's online leadership course Rewired with an inspiring and impactful program and project for passionate people who care about their communities.

The Program design will include a number of elements specific to CALD communities of Greater Western Sydney including:

  • Focus on diversity and strength-based learning, building on what participants already know
  • Nurture and create networks and peer learning
  • Agile program design to be able to address different needs and priorities of participants
  • Focus on supporting self-determination and empowerment generally with a specific focus on social enterprise models

The Classic Future Makers Fellowship program is delivered through a combination of retreats and weekly in–person workshops that require participants to be in commutable distance to Sydney. The Program runs for a duration of 8 months and is ideally suited for early to mid-career professionals looking to evolve as leaders and explore their potential.

The Intensive Future Makers Fellowship program is delivered through a combination of two, bookend six-day retreats and weekly online workshops that is suited to those who are beyond weekly commutable distance to Melbourne or Sydney. It runs for a duration of 4 months and is ideal for those who want to learn hard and fast.

What if I have work/other commitments that oblige me to travel and I miss a workshop or retreat?

You must be present at all retreats and a minimum of 90% of workshops; missed content must be made up on your own time.

How much time am I expected to commit per week?

We expect a time commitment of 2 - 5 hours per week, over and above retreats and workshops.

What are the conditions for eligibility?

You must live or work in the program’s host region of Greater Western Sydney and be available for all Program weekend retreats. Additionally, you must access to a reliable Internet connection for video streaming.

What digital requirements must I have to complete this program?

Basic computer skills, reliable computer with up-to-date web and video browsing software, computer web camera and microphone, Microsoft Office suite (or equivalent) and access to reliable internet connection, suitable for streaming video.

What commitments are expected of me as a student of CSL?

Exercise a high degree of respect for others, apply honesty & openness in behaviour/communication, abide by group’s agreed ground rules, contribute positive participation throughout the program.

What is your policy regarding refunds?

Cancellations will be accepted without charge if CSL is notified in writing at least 30 days prior to the course start date. Additional circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please read the Participant Fees, Refunds and Cancellation Policy.

Interested in the Leaders for Sustainability Program then let us know

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