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Alicia participates in LEAD and discovers her leadership style

Alicia stands third from left in a group of LEAD graduates. They are standing and smiling for the camera

Alicia Roche, Team Leader of our Geraldton office, recently graduated from the LEAD (Leadership, Exploration and Development) program offered by non-profit Ngala.

We decided to take this opportunity to ask Alicia a few questions about her eight-month experience.

What is LEAD all about?

LEAD is a program that focuses on learning from the life experiences of Midwest business and community leaders. It was also about developing my own leadership style and qualities.

Did it cost anything?

Yes, but I was fortunate to be awarded a scholarship from Lotterywest. I also received support from my Forrest Personnel employer. I’m super grateful for all the backing I received.

Each participant had to do a solo project. What was yours?

I called my project LEADing the Way. My goal was to showcase the contributions people have made as a result of gaining meaningful employment. Nigel Tremain was the first person to graciously accept my challenge. He is keen to promote alternative ways of considering people for employment.

We heard you gave a moving speech at your graduation ceremony. What did you say?

I told the audience that when I first commenced the LEAD program, I hadn’t realised how much it would support my personal and professional development. I also explained that 12 months ago, I took a leap of faith and left my nursing career to become site coordinator of the Forrest Personnel office in Geraldton. At that time, I had absolutely no idea what a disability employment services provider was all about. I didn’t even know what kind of leader I wanted to become. The one thing I did know was that I wanted to pave my own way and be confident about the leadership style I would develop.

Alicia Roche (centre) with Nicole Trewin (left) and Elise Jones. They are wearing dresses and smiling at the camera

Alicia Roche (centre) with Nicole Trewin (left) and Elise Jones, all from Forrest Personnel, Geraldton, at Alicia’s LEAD graduation

What were some of the other activities offered by LEAD?

They were numerous and varied. We did laughter yoga, benefited from career coaching, discovered my motivational identity and went surfing with A Glassy Day Surf Coaching.

We hear you’re a surfer. How did the surfing session go over?

Shaun and her crew taught us to get out of our comfort zones and take on the waves. Anything to do with the water and sand reminds me that I am home. There is something about the ocean that helps to put everything into perspective.

Alicia and a group of others stand in front of surfboards on a beach

Alicia, standing in front of board fourth from right, and others from LEAD on their surfing outing

Tell us about one of the talks that left a big impression

Dave Clare is the CEO and Founder of Circle Leadership Global. His session looked at ways to evolve and stay relevant through employee engagement and empowerment. This was especially insightful as it looked at a new kind of business model. He took us on a journey that began with the way many businesses are managed today to the next evolution of management where culture and strategy align.

What is one of your takeaways?

Over the eight months, I met some incredible people whom I will call upon as mentors throughout my career.

In closing, how do you describe your leadership style?

After much deliberation, I came to the conclusion that I am a big-picture thinker and a resourceful problem solver. However, I can also be a bull in a china shop and must be aware of the whirlwind that can create. I like to think that I’m a participative leader – I would rather be in the trenches than leading from above.


If you have any questions about Alicia’s LEADing the Way project, please reach out to her directly at 1800 224 548.

Feature photo: Alicia Roche (third from left) with graduates of LEAD

Forrest Personnel is a local charity. We specialise in supporting people with health conditions, injuries and disabilities to find and keep jobs.

Let’s make it work together | 1800 224 548