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GMCL believes you only need to look within your own backyard to see the passion and resilience required to innovate and continue building the momentum of this region. The Goulburn Murray is in an amazing position to become a stronger region balancing the growth, well-being, and economies of local communities. There are many individuals and organisations innovating and leading change to do this, however, regional resilience requires a focus on succession and continual development of emerging community leaders.

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.


Creating a catalyst for positive change by cultivating a willing, ready, and able pool of community leaders.


To see positive change in Goulburn Murray regional communities, driven by local community leaders.


We believe in the power and necessity of community leadership to more effectively address the complex issues and critical opportunities in our region.


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 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.

From 1998, the program has been known as the ‘Fairley Leadership Program’ (FLP) in recognition of the initial generous support by the Fairley Foundation who believed this was a program that would help ensure leadership into the 21st century for regional Australia. The program continues to be heavily supported by local sponsorship and until recently, was subsidised through Victorian State Government funding.

There is a rich history of program graduates playing key roles in supporting the region through crisis and implementing pro-active initiatives to support the growth and development of the region. This includes playing key roles in supporting local community through the Shepparton COVID-19 lockdowns in 2021 and flood disasters across Greater Shepparton, Campaspe, and Moira LGAs in 2022.



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Christina Bassani

Board Chair

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Sam Atukorala

Board Member


Lacey Nicholson

Board Treasurer

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Luke Falzon

Board Member

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Deanne Armstrong

Board Member


Carla Miles

Board Member


We are proud to support an alumni base of over 650 graduates of the Fairley Leadership Program, or ‘Fairley Fellows’.


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