Zane Saunders: 2019 Milparanga Leadership Program recipient

    12 July 2019

    What drew you to apply to the Milparanga Leadership program?

    Most of my life I’ve been an observer – taking a back seat. Now, with the type of work I do, it’s important to realise that I need to develop my creative work and myself. The person, the individual, Zane Saunders.

    Why is rural leadership an important part of your cultural and professional pursuits?

    I believe throughout our current history there’s been the decimation and destruction of our cultural world and societies.  I, along with everyone else, am in the process of proclaiming and reclaiming our true purpose and position. It is important that we rebuild ourselves, our true measure and stance within our archetypal domain. 

    How is First Nations leadership unique?

    It’s not only unique but paramount to the survival and sustenance of Australia’s future. A body without blood is none existent, so is leadership within this country without First Nations representation and position.


    I believe throughout our current history there’s been the decimation and destruction of our cultural world and societies.  I, along with everyone else, am in the process of proclaiming and reclaiming our true purpose and position. It is important that we rebuild ourselves, our true measure and stance within our archetypal domain. 


    What leadership qualities inspired you in the past and how have you incorporated that into your own leadership journey?

    Many a people have inspired me in my travels – growing up as a young man, sitting beside elders, listening, watching and observing people – all have helped me. Helped me to blossom and grow, to be humble and to hear the silent, forgotten, down and out, those who struggle and fight, all which informs me and my practice and fills my spirit’s eye. I am an accumulation of the people who have existed in my life, without them I am none. All people from all walks of life who hold various positions within family and community, I am no greater than the least of my kin, some knowing, some unassuming, they all hold an important position in my heart. I am grateful. 

    What outcomes are you hoping to achieve through the Milparanga Leadership program?

    Outcomes I hope to achieve from this leadership program is to learn more about myself and how to best utilise the abilities and talents I already have within myself. To gain insights, create roadmaps, give a firm vision as to how leadership can best serve our people and communities. To participate and learn as much as I can from what they have to offer.

    What would be your advice to people wanting to apply to the program in the future?

    I want to encourage other people to apply for the program in the future. Don’t be shame, put your hand up and be open to the opportunities that can come from the Milparanga Leadership program. 

    What do you think is the value of leadership programs for First Nations people and communities?

    The value of these programs are underestimated by ourselves and the wider community.  It is an effective and vital tool and can play a part in the resurrection and equality for our First Nations peoples. It’s a great platform for individuals and offers the opportunity to speak your truth. 


    Learn more about this opportunity 

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