[Media Release]

Fairley Leadership – Meeting the challenge of COVID19 and beyond

2020 will long be remembered as a year of challenge and change. It may also be remembered as the year of community, of facing the unknown and supporting one another in navigating a new reality.

Recently the Fairley Leadership Program (FLP) 2020 Cohort had the opportunity to learn from leading community sustainability champions to examine community involvement in grass roots initiatives, organisational wide programs and the introduction of world leading technology and science to local enterprises.

The focus of the day was to;
• Understand the importance of developing sustainable communities (environmental, social and economic sustainability)
• Examine some of the elements of a sustainable community
• Learn about the role of local government and climate change
Delivered in a virtual environment, the 2020 Cohort heard from Peter Holmgren, Chief Executive Officer, AgBioEn Pty Ltd, Sharon Terry (Fairley Fellow 2001), Sustainability and Environment Team Leader at Greater Shepparton City Council, and Matthew Charles-Jones, Chair, Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY).

“While the COVID19 restrictions may have changed the way in which the FLP is delivered, it has not changed the focus of the program and its unique ability to provide and once in a lifetime opportunity to have direct access to local, state and interstate leaders” said Melissa Seymour, Program Facilitator.

“The presenters were able to bring a unique and insightful perspective on how small changes can result in big outcomes at a community level and contributed to the FLP 2020 Cohort’s exploration of community based sustainable development practices. Each are champions for change within their own organisations and the communities in which they live” she said.

Established in 1997, the Fairley Leadership Program has consistently and continually delivered a comprehensive professional and personal community leadership development program that is nimble, adaptive and an immersive real time demonstration of leadership in action.

“A sustainable community is so much more than environmental. Now more than ever there is a growing awareness and focus on the environmental, social and economic factors and the health and wellbeing of our people. There is a need to embed long term viability planning into our day to day operations. That’s where the Fairley Leadership Program has the greatest impact – here on the ground in the communities across the Goulburn Murray Region where we live” said Michelle Luscombe, CEO and Fairley Fellow.

And while COVID19 has bought many challenges and changed the way in which the current program can be delivered, what hasn’t changed is the undivided focus on fostering local leaders for now and into the future.

Tomorrow the FLP will join forces with the Gippsland Community Leadership Program, expanding their networks and areas of expertise, to connect with Melbourne based leaders in the field of crisis management, regional representation and world class sports management.

“Through an investment in technology and connecting with other highly regarded leadership programs across Victoria, the 2020 Fairley Leadership participants have an unprecedented level of access to those at the forefront of developing and implementing adaptive change.” she said.


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Michelle Luscombe

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