La Trobe University is known for making a positive difference in the lives of our students, partners and communities. This strong sense of public purpose was amplified in 2020, with the onset of the pandemic and Victoria’s statewide lockdowns. La Trobe refocused many of its activities to support our students, communities and partners.
In response to the needs of partners and the wider community during Melbourne’s first lockdown in April 2020 La Trobe developed Leaders in Lockdown.
Leaders in Lockdown was offered as a free, 20-30 hour fully on-line leadership program. It was designed and led by La Trobe Business School to help participants respond to the immediate impacts of COVID-19, know where to look for opportunities at the end of the pandemic, and develop resilience to endure future challenges on the other side of the crisis.
The program was initiated after La Trobe’s long-term industry partners requested leadership resources for staff during the onset of the pandemic. La Trobe quickly responded, developing a four-module program based on teaching from La Trobe’s own Masters of Business Administration, offering the program to industry partners Carlton Football Club, Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne City Football Club, Northern Football Netball League, The Australian Ballet, NORTH Link and Medibank.
As the impact from the pandemic grew along with the need for broader community support, La Trobe made the decision to extend the offer to the general public from May 2020 – opening up the free online leadership program to all.
The program quickly grew with word of mouth endorsement and social media promotion and by October 2020 12,800 people from diverse industries had signed onto the program.
The program ran from April 2020 to December 2020 and featured materials from La Trobe’s MBA program, using online discussion boards, webinars and participant learning journals. The course focused on leadership during challenging times, the changing nature of work and providing opportunities for participants to connect with each other – a popular feature during Melbourne’s lockdown.
Leaders in Lockdown provided Victorian businesses and community members with vital leadership support and connections during uncertain times as Victorian faced its second lockdown from July – October 2020. The program was an investment by the University to support businesses and individuals through COVID-19, by opening our MBA program free of charge to the wider community. It is a leading example of La Trobe’s commitment to our community and partners and our focus on delivering real world impact.