The impetus to develop an Australian focused organisation to support community leadership came originally from Richard Bluck AO, former Executive Director of Leadership Victoria.
In 2014 CLA was established as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and was auspiced by Leadership Victoria for several years. During this period, Richard served as its Chairperson. When Richard retired from Leadership Victoria after 25 years in 2007, his successor did not want to continue to auspice CLA and the company was closed.
Members of CLA continued to meet twice a year at a conference hosted by one of the CLA organisations, and to support each other in many other ways in between key events. Dr Sue van Leeuwen, Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Western Australia, acted as the Chairperson of this group, before handing over this role to Dr Niki Vincent, Chief Executive Officer of the Leaders Institute of South Australia, in 2010.
Eventually, it was agreed to re-establish CLA as a not-for-profit company to promote the benefits of community leadership on a national level, to support the development of programs in new regions, and to better support the professional development needs of those involved in community leadership around Australia.
It was also agreed to expand to include the broader Oceania region, with Leadership NZ joining in 2009. In 2013, Community Leadership Australia was formally reborn.
Current CLA Board members are:
- Chair: Angela Driver
- Deputy Chair: Joanna Giannes
- Treasurer: Richard Dent
- Secretary: Sherilyn Hanson
- General Members: Matt Linnegar
In February 2018, Community Leadership Australia (CLA), was pleased to announce the appointment of a new Executive Officer – Sherilyn Hanson.
This signals a new era for CLA demonstrating stronger commitment to a further disciplined and enhanced focus on building leadership capacity in the Australasian region.