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.

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GMCL are currently seeking proactive and community driven all-rounders eager to work in a team with the passion for developing emerging leaders across the Goulburn Murray region.

The Leadership Programs Facilitator requires the skills to drive, coordinate and facilitate a range of leadership programs. They will always look for how the GMCL programs nurture better leaders and will often facilitate this through positive and effective relationships with individual, organisational and alumni stakeholders. Click here for position description and how to apply.

The Communications and Operations Support role has a talent for generating support and awareness through effective communications and marketing whilst combining this with keeping a small office running.  The ability to effectively use a range of social media and traditional tools to share messaging and opportunities is imperative. The roles diversity from communications through to a range of administrative based functions is for those who love variety. Click here for position description and how to apply.

The roles are part time (negotiable hours) contracts with the intention of roles continuing as GMCL locks in future funding.

Applications close 8am Monday 19th April 2021 and should be emailed to Nathan Bibby  



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.



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Nathan Bibby,

Executive Officer

Nathan brings to the role a breadth of experience for building community capacity.  His diverse career involves partnering across State and Local Government, business, education, health, sport and employment. Nathan has demonstrated in previous appointments his passion for leadership and creating change through listening to community and providing programs for empowerment.  

Nathan has recently relocated his family to the Goulburn Murray region having lived and worked for the past 10 year in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. 

Much of Nathan’s work has been in delivering evidence based capacity building programs in partnership with community, government, business and the tertiary sector.  Nathan has actively partnered with many community groups, committees and boards to develop priorities and strategic plans. Prior to growing support and opportunities for young people in Hobsons Bay, Nathan was the Program Manager for the Sons of the West Men’s Health Program, an initiative of the Western Bulldogs. Nathan’s work history is supported by a Masters of Business Administration (University of Wollongong) and a Bachelor of Management (Federation University).

To find out more, read Nathan Bibby'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 EO 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.



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.


Mayor 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 is currently serving her third term as Mayor of the City of Greater Shepparton.

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.

Christina Bassani

Christina Bassani

Christina is graduate of the Fairley Leadership Program (2003).

To find out more, read Christina Bassani's LinkedIn profile.

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Vicki Scott

Vicki is graduate of the Fairley Leadership Program (2015).

To find out more, read Vicki Scott's LinkedIn profile.

Ashley Lythgo

Ashley Lythgo

Co-opted Board Director

Ashley currently works with Intereach as a Program Manager of Community links & is responsible for a team of 7 staff, spanning 8 local government areas within Victoria. Ashley continues her passion with local community and sits on multiple stakeholder and community led meetings including disability advisory committees and peer network support groups

Ashley holds a Bachelor of Nursing and a Certificate III in Aged Care.

Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, travelling, reading a good book or spending time with friends and family.

She is a recent graduate of the Fairley Leadership Program (2020).

To find out more, read Ashley Lythgo'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