The Fairley Leadership Program reached a new milestone on Wednesday night, with the launch of its 22nd year.
Twenty-four new participants were welcomed into the program, which has produced more than 520 graduates.
The program works to develop leadership skills across the Goulburn Murray, while exploring the main issues facing the region and assisting with positive local change.
Goulburn Murray Leadership chief executive Michelle Luscombe said this year’s cohort was a diverse and interesting bunch that included a social researcher, communications adviser, and town planner.
‘‘All of them are involved with their local communities and are keen to make a positive contribution,’’ Mrs Luscombe said.
The program was launched at Monichino Wines, with 2017 graduate and Cactus Country general manager John Hall speaking at the event.
In past years the program had a number of graduates move into high-profile positions in the region, including State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell, Shepparton Festival chairwoman Fiona Smolenaars and Committee for Greater Shepparton chief executive Sam Birrell.
Mrs Luscombe, a program graduate herself, believed the experience was an invaluable one that provided participants with a wealth of knowledge to support them in the future.
‘‘We hope the program will take their leaderships skills and community engagement to the next level,’’ she said.