Goulburn Murray Community Leadership (GMCL) is the organisation behind the highly successful Fairley Leadership Program.  Members of Regional Leadership Victoria, we collaborate with nine Regional Leadership Programs across the State. 


To learn more about Regional Leadership Victoria and how we all work together visit here.

Our Vision is to ignite positive change in the communities that make up the Goulburn Murray region.

We believe in the power and necessity of community leadership and place based change making to ensure we have a strong, innovative and sustainable Goulburn Murray region.

We provide a range of leadership programs and courses to support emerging, experienced  and accomplished leaders in the Goulburn Murray region.

You can download our strategic plan here.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the opportunities for aspiring and existing leaders in our community follow us on social media to keep up to date with the latest information and announcements.

In the lead up to 2021, we currently have a number of exciting and rewarding job opportunities available.  These include;

Executive Officer and the newly created position of Alumni Engagement Officer.  For position descriptions and details on how to apply please download the following links.

Executive Officer - Position Description

Alumni Engagement Officer - Position Description

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The Fairley Leadership Program began in 1997 as a result of a local businessman’s (Ross McPherson, Managing Director of the McPherson Media Group) participation in the Williamson Community Leadership Program based in Melbourne. On his return he gathered together a group of local business and community people interested in addressing the need for leadership across the region and formed the ‘Clever Food Committee’ in the wake of the 1990s recession.

Established through seed funding from inaugural program partners the Greater Shepparton City Council, Campaspe Shire and Moira Shire, the Goulburn Valley Community Leadership program was launched in 1997, based largely on the design of the Williamson Community Leadership Program (now known as Leadership Victoria).

From 1998, the program has been known as the ‘Fairley Leadership Program’ (FLP) in recognition of the generous support of the Fairley Foundation who believed this was a program that would help ensure leadership into the 21st century for regional Australia.

A community based not-for-profit board continues to steer Goulburn Murray Community Leadership. The program now has more than 600 graduates across the Goulburn Murray region and beyond.

The program provides an opportunity for people to develop leadership skills across the Goulburn Murray region and to explore the major issues facing the region and assist positive change.


Since the establishment of the program much has been achieved.  Highlights include;

  • Over 600 individuals graduating from the FLP becoming Fairley Fellows and joining the FLP Alumni

  • 24 years of consecutive programs and positioning the Fairley Leadership Program as one of the most successful regional leadership programs in Victoria.

  • Sponsorship achieved from private sector, personal giving and local government partners:

  • Recognising the need for locally based leadership training, GMLP now includes; the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) program and the Victorian Local Governance Training on behalf of our three local government partners.




Michelle Luscombe,

Chief Executive Officer

Michelle's passion is to build community through building others up and she believes regional leadership programs are the ideal platform for achieving this.  'The most important thing you can do as a leader is empower and inspire others to be great leaders'.

She is a past Executive Officer of The Community Fund (now Greater Shepparton Foundation), founding director of Shepparton Foodshare, past Director of Shepparton Motor Museum, and has a long and varied career in sectors including disability, health, media and indigenous services.

She holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting, is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a graduate of the Fairley Leadership Program (2007).

To find out more, read Michelle Luscombe’s LinkedIn profile.


Melissa Seymour,

Program Facilitator

Melissa is putting her coach-style leadership skills to work, in the facilitator role supporting the participants of the Fairley Leadership program.

Melissa is passionate about her community and excited about contributing to positive change, learning more about the issues and opportunities in the community, and how the Fairley Program can influence the Goulburn Murray regional communities.

She holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (La Trobe University) and post-graduate studies in Public Relations and Communications (RMIT).

To find out more, read Melissa Seymour’s LinkedIn profile.


Tracey Creighton,

Executive Assistant

Tracey joined Goulburn Murray Community Leadership in 2011 and is the Executive Assistant and provides administrative support to the CEO and Program Facilitator.

Prior to joining GMCL, Tracey worked in various administration roles including Employment, Insurance, Property Valuations and Real Estate.

Tracey is committed to supporting the development of community leaders. Tracey recognises the important role GMCL plays within the Goulburn Murray Region by encouraging new and emerging leaders, developing the skills and experience in community leadership and the need to create a bigger and more diverse pool of active and capable leaders for the future.

Tracey is married with two children and lives in Kialla. Tracey enjoys spending her free time with her family and enjoys being outdoors.

To find out more, read Tracey Creighton’s LinkedIn profile.



Julie Cobbledick,


Julie has extensive background and leadership experience in Catholic Education in the Diocese of Sandhurst. As an industry professional Julie has worked in areas such as leadership development, strategic planning, organisational structures, project work and culture management.

Julie is deeply passionate about building and strengthening leadership capacity of individuals and organisations.

She is an Accredited Leadership Coach and holds a Bachelor of Education, Masters in Educational Leadership, Graduate Certificate in Student Welfare and more recently has completed the Authentic Leader Development Residential Program at Harvard University in Boston.

To find out more, read Julie Cobbledick’s LinkedIn profile.

Kate Pendergast,

Deputy Chair

Kate has over 30 years managerial and leadership experience.

She has been an active participant in numerous statewide and natural resource management projects aligned to contemporary human resource management.

Kate was appointed to the statewide Regional Leadership Board in October 2019 and is a committee member for the Goulburn Valley Business Rural and Industry Network.

She holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), Certificates in Training and Assessment and is an accredited Myers-Briggs Type Indicator trainer.

To find out more, read Kate Pendergast’s LinkedIn profile.

Anna McIntosh,


Anna is Goulburn Valley ‘born and bred’ and has worked locally as an accountant and business adviser since 2001.

She is a Director at local accounting and business advisory firm MB+M where she specialises in Self-Managed Superannuation and Small Business Taxation and Advice.

Anna holds a Bachelor of Commerce (La Trobe) and is a member of CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

To find out more, read Anna McIntosh’s LinkedIn profile.


Cr Chris Hazelman, OAM

Chris is actively involved with a large number of community and sporting organisations.

He has served five times as Mayor of the City of Greater Shepparton.

Chris was also a Director of Goulburn Valley Health and was Senior Vice Chair, Chair of the Audit Committee and Chair of the Population and Primary Health Committee.

He holds a Masters in Business Administration and is a graduate of the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives Program in Public Policy Development.

To find out more, read Chris Hazelman’s LinkedIn profile.

Zara O'Keeffe

Zara is a Shepparton local who has spent the last 10 years in various positions at Goulburn Murray Water and has recently moved into the role of Commercial and Operations Manager at AFL Goulburn Murray.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Sports Management and Marketing (Deakin University).

She is also a graduate of the Australian School of Applied Management and the Fairley Leadership Program (2012).

She is passionate about providing leadership opportunities locally to strengthen the knowledge and capacity of people within our community.

To find out more, read Zara O'Keeffe's LinkedIn Profile.

Cr Kim O'Keeffe

Kim is a strong advocate for small business and community health and wellbeing, and is passionate about showcasing the Greater Shepparton region as a place of growth and opportunity.

Kim has served two terms as Mayor of the City of Greater Shepparton and one term as Deputy Mayor.

Kim has broad committee experience including the Audit and Risk Management for Greater Shepparton City Council, Deputy Chair for Regional Cities Victoria, Charter Champion for the Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Advisory Committee and Chair of the Greater Shepparton Public Health and Wellbeing Plan advisory committee.

To find out more, Kim O'Keeffe's LinkedIn profile.


Tara Callingham

Co-opted Board Director

Tara has worked in technical roles within Goulburn Valley Water since 2010, more recently moving in to a leadership position within the Digital and Innovation team.

She is a keen and active member of the Shepparton Runners Club and is passionate about getting people up and moving.

She holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from UNSW and a Masters of Chemical Engineering by research from RMIT.

She is a recent graduate of the Fairley Leadership Program (2019).

To find out more, read Tara Callingham's LinkedIn profile.



“Leadership is about being the type of person that others want to follow. Surround yourself with the people who lift you up and be the same support to those around you.” 

Rebecca Hearn – Fairley Leadership 2019 Participant


If you would like to learn more about Goulburn Murray Community Leadership, our programs and the benefits of community leadership for individuals and organisations large and small, contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

T: (03) 5831 8420

M: 0427 265 306


PO BOX 1409, Shepparton VIC 3632

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© 2020 Goulburn Murray Community Leadership

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