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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 provide a range of leadership programs and courses to support 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 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 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.

E: eo@gmcl.org.au

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Vicki Scott 
Programs & Strategy Manager

Vicki brings passion, enthusiasm and professionalism to whatever she undertakes.  She has a strong work ethic and Vicki credits her family for instilling in her qualities of empathy, self belief and personal drive. Vicki’s hometown is Mooroopna and she proudly resides in the town, actively involved in the community.  


Vicki completed the Fairley Leadership program in 2015.  She acknowledges that the stars definitely aligned in 2015, crediting the program for igniting the fire in her belly to help young people and to actively contribute to the Goulburn Valley region.  

She holds a Bachelor of Business (Public Relations) and Diploma of Management, describing herself as a lifelong learner.


Vicki has enjoyed working in various industries including Not for Profit, health and wellbeing, water, Local Government, employment and the Corporate sector. This breadth of experience has enabled Vicki to develop a broad reach of networks and has a clear understanding of business and community leadership practises to create positive change.  

Vicki is committed to seeing people living happy and healthy lives, with equal opportunities regardless of their personal circumstance.   

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

E: program@gmcl.org.au


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.

Christina Bassani
Christina Bassani,
Deputy Chair

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

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

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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 Armstrong's LinkedIn profile.

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Sarah Williams

Sarah has lived in the Goulburn Valley for over 12 years with her family after relocating from Western Australia.  She joined the GMCL Board in 2022 and has an extensive background in Finance particularly in not-for-profit community-based organisations.  Sarah is passionate about supporting aspiring leaders and embracing the potential within local communities.


Sarah works with Intereach as the Finance Manager and holds a Bachelor of Commerce.  She is also currently studying a Masters in Business Administration and Management.

To find out more, read Sarah Williams LinkedIn profile.

Ashley Lythgo
Ashley Lythgo

Ashley is a Goulburn Valley local who is proud to live, work, and completed her studies in the local region.

Ashley is a graduate of the Fairley Leadership Program in 2020 and  appointed to the GMCL Board in October 2021, after participating Board Meetings as a Co-Opted Board Member.

Ashley is passionate about inspiring the next generation of young leaders and excited to be supporting a platform for leaders to explore various pathways and look for opportunities to give back to community.


Ashley works with Intereach as Senior Manager of Community Development & is responsible for a range and internal and external engagements with oversight of diversity/inclusion and business development portfolios across 38 local government areas spanning Victoria and New South Wales. 

Ashley holds a Bachelor of Nursing and certificates in Aged Care, and aspires to further her education in coming years with a core focus on increasing skills in business management and financial literacy. 

To find out more, read Ashley Lythgo'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.


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.

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Sam Atukorala

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

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

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Andrew Cooper
Co-opted Board Member

Andrew has always called the Goulburn Murray region home, growing up and still residing in Kyabram he continues to work within the region. Being very passionate about the area Andrew has always wanted to give back and be of value to the regions communities.


He has great interest in ensuring that our towns within the Goulburn Murray region grow and thrive and continues to offer attractive lifestyles for all.


Andrew is the Distribution Assistant Manager - East for Goulburn Murray Water, where he supports a team of 20 staff to provide irrigation water throughout the Goulburn Murray region, which he sees as an integral component of economic activity in our region.


Having completed the Fairley Leadership Program in 2021, Andrew continues to follow his interests with different local community groups and committees such as the Kyabram Development Committee.

To find out more, read Andrew Cooper'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