top of page


Goulburn Murray Community Leadership (GMCL) is the organisation behind the highly successful Fairley Leadership Program.  


Members of Regional Leadership Australia, we collaborate with nine Regional Leadership Programs across the State. To learn more about Regional Leadership Australia 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 partner and collaborate with a diverse range of organisations to deliver leadership programs and develop emerging, experienced  and accomplished leaders in the Goulburn Murray region.


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



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 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;

  • Nearly 650 individuals graduating from the FLP becoming Fairley Fellows and joining the FLP Alumni

  • 26 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.


234 Fairley leadership 2021 3-3-21.JPG
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 Yarrawonga and is excited about living in 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.


Chloe Armstrong 
Programs & Operations Officer

Chloe brings a fresh perspective to the team, as a recent university graduate with a passion for the social sector and all things that revolve around creating a more equitable and prosperous society. 

Chloe spent time growing up in surrounding regional communities before relocating for university and believes greatly in the potential that our collective areas can have.


With her own experience completing the 2022 Fastrack entrepreneurship program at Monash, Chloe is excited about the prospect of bringing valuable development opportunities to regional Victoria. 

Chloe is happy to be back in the area, close to family and with the opportunity to assist in delivering the vision here at GMCL. 

Chloe holds a Bachelor of Commerce, specialising in Sustainability, Management and Marketing. 

To find out more, read Chloe Armstrong's LinkedIn profile.



Christina Bassani
Christina Bassani,

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

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

Andrea Pogue,
Deputy Chair

Andrea is passionate about increasing collaboration opportunities between networks of community leaders to effect change in local communities and regions. She will complete the Fairley Leadership Program in 2022, and is looking to use that experience to extend her community leadership capabilities.

Andrea has been a member of a number of community committees since moving to the Goulburn Valley, including the Toolamba Lions Club and the Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Advisory Committee and she is currently Chair of the Toolamba & District Steering Committee which allows her to connect with, and address the needs of her immediate community.

Andrea brings a depth of skills and expertise after more than 34 years’ working within the public and private sector across a broad range of industries from banking, information technology and venture capital to education, water and public health. She specialises in business transformation, strategy, business planning, project management and driving enterprise performance improvements. 

Andrea loves to learn and holds a number of accreditations including PRINCE2 Project Management Practitioner, Lean / Six Sigma Green Belt Practitioner, Human Centred Design Practitioner/Design Thinking for Innovation as well as facilitation and change management qualifications. She has completed her Foundations in Board Directorship through the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

To find out more, read Andrea's LinkedIn profile.

Deanne Armstrong-5B (1)_edited_edited.jpg

Deanne Armstrong

As the CEO for Committee for Echuca Moama, Deanne brings a depth of skills and knowledge across a range of industry sectors. Deanne grew up on a dairy, cropping and beef farms. Through some amazing career opportunities, she now has a breadth of backgrounds in Hospitality, Education & Training, Victoria Police, Goulburn Murray Water and Committee for Greater Shepparton. She has developed her networks and relationships with Government, Businesses, Industries and Community stakeholders to understand the needs and importance of our regional communities.   

Deanne completed the Fairley Leadership Program in 2017, AICD course, which has helped lead her into a range of board and committee positions currently with Regional Development Australia – Murray, Bridge Arts Project, and Echuca Moama Food & Fibre Group and held previous positions with Echuca Moama Tourism, Kyabram District Health Service, Shepparton Careers Day Out and Shepparton Youth Foyer (Advisory Committee).  


To find out more, read Deanne's LinkedIn profile.


Carla Miles

Carla is a Fairley Leadership Fellow (2009) and grew up in and now resides in the Goulburn Murray region just north of Shepparton.  Carla has a diverse working background, principally in natural resource management, but also across other sectors including community, education and wellbeing.  Carla holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Parks, Recreation and Heritage (HONS) and is currently working as a Senior Officer Traditional Owner Partnerships with the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority.


Carla has worked in all levels of government, for community and not-for profit organisations, and as a consultant.   She brings a wealth of experience in strategic planning and review, project management, place-based governance, and community engagement.  Carla was closely involved in the formative years of the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project which continues to apply a collective impact approach to supporting children and young people to thrive. 

Carla believes in embracing opportunities as they arise and has recently returned from living and working on Norfolk Island with her family for over 3 years and participating in the 2022 Commonwealth Games as a Team Manager for Lawn Bowls.  
Carla is passionate about community, the environment and social justice.


To find out more, read Carla's LinkedIn profile.

Sam Atu1_edited.jpg
Sam Atukorala

Sam is graduate of the Fairley Leadership Program (2014).

To find out more, read Sam's LinkedIn profile.

Luke falzon.jpg
Luke Falzon

Luke is a high-performing executive with extensive experience in education and community leadership. Luke holds a Director role at GOTAFE; operates a community focussed business within Moira Shire, and is an expert judge with Awards Australia.

Luke is passionate about community development and establishing equitable structures to support local health and wellbeing. As an advocate on many levels, Luke seeks to serve future generations through education, and by upholding the values of integrity and respect while maintaining an innovative mindset.

Luke holds a Master of Leadership, Bachelor of Business, Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management, Advanced Diploma in Disability and a range of other qualifications and accreditations.

To find out more, read Luke’s LinkedIn profile.


Sonia Priestly_edited.jpg
Sonia Priestly 

Sonia has called the Goulburn Valley home for over 20 years.  She has worked extensively as a health professional in public and private health settings as well as in education.  Her background in speech pathology has led to a strong interest and expertise in early childhood development and intervention, particularly in the areas of language and literacy.   She is committed to the promotion of evidence-based practice in planning and decision-making.

Sonia completed the Fairley Leadership program in 2021 and enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with, and learn from, a diverse and talented group of people.  She continues to expand her skills and knowledge into further community programs and groups including The Lighthouse Project and Best Start projects.  Sonia welcomes the opportunity to join the GMCL Board as a co-opted member, seeking to support the ongoing evolution of the program in our region.

Lacey Nicholson
Co-Opted Member 2023






“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

bottom of page