The Henty Club hosted the inaugural Fischer Community Leadership Program with 17 participants graduating on Thursday 7th September, followed by presentations of their community projects.

The Fischer Community Leadership Program was piloted in Henty and Holbrook, with the aim to enable and empower leadership within the community from the grassroots up. The focus of the program has been to develop leadership skills and create a group of community leaders that are equipped to take action and make a difference. The program was delivered by Alpine Valleys Community Leadership  with funding provided by Border Trust and the Fischer family.

Local leaders and community members were engaged in the development of the program which comprised 7 after hours sessions and one full day workshop. Participants represented a diverse range of residents including young adults, young parents, people with disability, first nations and new arrivals.

Participants developed a range of different community  projects during the program, including three community centered  events: Holbrook Twilight Markets will return, Henty will benefit from a Street Scape party to support COVID recovery, and a Health Forum will be delivered in Henty to educate and support members of the community living with chronic illness.

Other projects include the Henty Connection Trail, encompassing a proposal to Council to establish a trail to connect the Henty township with the Recreation Grounds, and will be auspiced by Henty Community Development Association to progress from design to implementation over the next few years. The Cakes for Kids project has established a regional program to provide birthday cakes for children in foster care, and will be auspiced by Anglicare. The War Widows’ field of remembrance project will ensure the continuation of the annual Annual War Widows Field of Remembrance Service in Albury. The Ground Truth project focusses on the return of cultural objects to place of origin and the reconciliation and cross-cultural relationships that will result from this. It is auspiced by Holbrook Landcare Network. And the H & H Podcast comprised a series of interviews with key community members and Fischer Community Leadership participants, discussing topics such as the impact of COVID and the leadership program.

Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Executive Officer, Jacqui Bramwell, said “I am thrilled to see the program come to fruition, and the calibre of work in undertaking the community projects is impressive. This year was the pilot for the program, and the outcomes are a testament to the merit of the program itself. The Fischer Community Leadership Program working group is now actively seeking funding to deliver the program in other border communities in the coming years, and I would encourage any community or philanthropic groups to consider engaging with the group if interested in contributing to future funding for the program. ”

Justin Clancy MP, Member for Albury and Parliamentary Secretary for Health, said “The Fischer Community Leadership Program has been successful in attracting emerging local leaders with an interest in giving back to their communities. This cohort are now equipped with the tools and resources to be effective community leaders, and  have create a network  across the Henty and Holbrook region.”