GOULBURN Murray Leadership launched its flagship program at an event at Monichino Wines at Katunga recently, announcing 24 new participants in the Fairley Leadership Program’s 22nd year.
The program now has more than 520 graduates who have developed leadership skills across the Goulburn Murray region, explored the main issues facing the region, and have assisted with positive local change.
Past graduates include Member for Northern Victoria, Wendy Lovell, Shepparton Festival chair and current program facilitator, Fiona Smolenaars and Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO, Sam Birrell just to name a few who have gone on to high profile positions in the region.
Recent research conducted by the Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs secretariat, which covers the state’s 10 regional leadership programs, showed the great value of the programs to local communities. For example, leadership graduates volunteered on average, 15 hours a month in their local communities, which would cost $28.3M a year to replace with paid employees, based on the programs’ 3,500 graduates across the state.
Also, at the 2016 local government elections, 66 graduates nominated as councillors and more than half were elected.
Goulburn Murray Leadership CEO, Michelle Luscombe, herself a graduate of the Fairley Leadership Program (2007), said the cohort of the 2018 program was a diverse and interesting bunch. She said the group included a social researcher, a bank relationship manager, a milk factory production manager, a childcare worker, operations managers of a waste company and an engineering company, a council community development manager, a town planner, a family violence support worker, a communications adviser, a doctor and a landscape architect.
Michelle said, “All of them (this year’s program participants) are involved with their local communities and are keen to make a positive contribution.
“We hope the program will take their leadership skills and community engagement to the next level.”