The Fairley Leadership Program celebrated another successful year at its recent graduation ceremony.
There were lots of smiles and laughter as this year’s cohort gathered to celebrate their achievements on Thursday last week.
The program started in 1997 and, in its 21st year, has more than 500 graduates scattered across the region.
Fairley Leadership Program facilitator Fiona Smolenaars said the success of the program in producing more than 500 graduates was in large part thanks to the ongoing support it received from the Goulburn Murray community.
The program is designed to build individual leadership capacity and educate emerging leaders about the challenges and opportunities impacting the Goulburn Murray region.
During its history it has nurtured and supported many individuals from businesses in the Goulburn Murray area.
Participants and new Fairley Fellows Melinda Weston and Josh Hudson gained a lot from this year’s program.
Ms Weston works for RiverConnect and had been interested in taking part in the program for some time.
‘‘Fairley is great, it gives you a really broad opportunity to learn about all the different industries in the community,’’ she said.
Mr Hudson said his manager at Work Group suggested he take part in the program.
‘‘I didn’t know what I was in for, but I was pleasantly surprised,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a really valuable year.’’
During the graduation evening, attendees enjoyed listening to guest speakers Kathy Fuller and Narelle McKay, who are advocates for the protection of children against sexual assault by taking part in the Bravehearts 777 Adventure Challenge.
Across the year, Fairley Leadership participants have enjoyed listening to a range of guest speakers from across the community and also attended opening and closing retreats as part of the program.
‘‘In joining the 500-plus-strong alumni network, the 2017 Fairley Leadership graduates are now part of a high level strategic network of rural and regional leaders throughout the Goulburn Murray region,’’ Ms Smolenaars said.