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RDA Central West is excited to be hosting the inaugural TEN4TEN Leadership Dialogue – a unique opportunity for ten specially chosen youth leaders to come together with ten community leaders for a fantastic two-way conversation and mentoring opportunity.

Year 11 students from across Orange, Blayney and Cabonne are invited to submit a written application of up to 100 words outlining why they believe they should be selected to participate in this program.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend a meet & greet event, followed by dinner, with ten local community leaders and innovators.
  • Visit NSW Parliament House in Sydney, where they will be hosted by the State Member for Orange, Phil Donato MP.
  • Visit Parliament House in Canberra, where they will be hosted by the Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, MP.
  • Attend a business Leaders Breakfast hosted by RDA Central West.
  • Connect with, be mentored by our inspiring community leaders and innovators.

Applications close Friday 19 June 2020

Meet the Mentors

Philip Dodds, CEO of Phocas

Philip is the CEO Director/owner of Phocas, a fast-growing software engineering and business intelligence firm with head office located in Orange. Phocas exports software, completely developed in Orange, NSW to customers world-wide.


As one of the TEN4TEN mentors we asked Phil “what does leadership mean to you?”

Julia Andrews, Director of External Engagement at Charles Sturt University Bathurst and Orange Campuses

Julia has worked in local government, economic development, regional advocacy, project management, media, tourism and the wine industry in Central West NSW for over 20 years and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience which she is keen to share.


As one of the TEN4TEN mentors we asked Julia what advice she has around managing let downs and dealing with pressure?

Phil Donato, State Member for Orange

Phil was previously a police prosecutor for some 16 years and has been an active member of our community for over 15 years. Phil was elected as our local State MP in 2016 and re-elected last year


Elected member for Orange in 2016, the former police prosecutor is now an advocate for the Orange region in the NSW Parliament.


As one of the TEN4TEN mentors we ask Phil: “What is the one thing you would tell your younger self about life with the benefit of experience?”

Christine Weston, Chair of RDA Central West

Christine is an accomplished Direct Marketing Executive with 20 years international experience working in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Germany and throughout Asia Pacific.


Christine has been involved with Boards for over 10 years in both the not-for-profit and community sector. Her experience extends from executive roles to reporting to the Board of multi-national companies. Christine’s positive nature, marketing passion, fundraising expertise and strong activism for regional living has delivered social and economic outcomes to both communities and companies.


Christine was awarded NSW Woman of the Year 2010 for her dedication to regional development, community and tourism. These local initiatives include ‘Rent-a-farmhouse for $1 a week’, ‘Animals on Bikes’ paddock art trail and ‘Opera in the Woolshed’.


Christine was born in Parkes and now lives in nearby Cumnock with her husband and 3 highschool children on a grazing and farming enterprise. Christine has a strong sense of commitment to the Central West, and is very passionate about job creation and investment to improve communities in the regional area.

Kate Lorimer-Ward, Deputy Director General at Department of Primary Industries

Kate Lorimer-Ward was born into a farming family and wanted to be a farmer. She eventually went on to the University of Sydney and started studying Economics and Psychology, leaving with a Bachelor of Arts double majoring in physical and social geographies. Now she is the Deputy Director General of the Department of Primary Industries Agriculture in Orange, NSW.


As one of the TEN4TEN mentors Kate was asked “Did you have a role model at school, and what advice did they give?”

Andrew Gee, Federal Member for Calare, Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, and Minister Assisting the Trade and Investment Minister

A former barrister, Andrew started his political journey in 2011 when he became the Member for Orange. In 2016 he was elected to the House of Representatives, for the seat of Calare.

Andrew is proud of his achievements for the people he represents,  including 24 hour helicopter rescue services for the Central West; a new hospital for the town of Gulgong; a new medical school for Charles Stuart University; funding for a new road link between Orange and Mudgee; and increased access to radiotherapy services for country cancer patients – Andrew himself is a stage 3 melanoma survivor.


As one of the TEN4TEN mentors we asked Andrew about time management – especially in the senior years at school.

Pip Brett, Owner of Jumbled and Iglou (The Sonic)

Pip Brett is the owner of homewares store JUMBLED and clothing store iglou. Located within The Sonic, both stores operate as a bricks and mortar and e-commerce store with a large online presence. Pip Brett has taken the traditional business model to the next level by introducing events and travel tours and is excited to have the opportunity to motivate and encourage younger community members as they near the end of their schooling.


We asked Pip: “What has been the biggest challenge of being a leader in your industry or sector?”

Reg Kidd, Mayor of Orange City Council

Currently the Mayor of Orange City Council, Reg is an agricultural consultant with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Graduate Diploma in Education and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Reg hosts the ABC Central West gardening program, and is passionate about sustainable farming practices and educating younger generations about how they can grow their own vegetables and help improve the health of the environment.


As one of the TEN4TEN mentors, we asked Reg: “What is the best piece of advice you have received from a previous mentor”?

Genya Miller, Brand and Marketing Manager at MSM Milling

Genya Miller is the Brand and Marketing Manager at MSM Milling in Manildra – a position she’s held for nearly eight years. Genya is a former television and radio news reader and journalist who has called the Orange region home for more than 20 years.


MSM Milling is an integrated oilseed processing and packaging business based in the heart of the NSW canola growing region. The 100% Australian company buys non-GM canola seed directly from more than 1,000 local farmers and transforms it into value added oil, meal and stockfeed products for domestic and international markets. MSM Milling has been producing quality oil products for food manufacturers, food service providers and QSR’s since 1991. The company exports canola oil to more than 15 countries around the word. Genya has overseen the development and ranging of MSM Milling’s retail brand auzure, which is sold in supermarkets across Australia and around the world, including via traditional and cross border e-commerce channels into China.

Gabriel Franklyn, Mining Engineer at Cadia Valley Operations

Gabriel is a Mining Engineer at Cadia Valley Operations, with a Bachelor of Science (Mining and Engineering Surveying) and Graduate Diploma in Mining. She is passionate about STEM and thrilled to be involved in the TEN4TEN Leadership program.


As one of the TEN4TEN mentors we ask Gabriel “What is the biggest misconception associated with your role, industry or sector?”

For further information