The Corowa Golf Club hosted the Federation Fischer Community Leadership Program on Monday 4th September, with participants, the Fischer Community Leadership Advisory Group, Mr Justin Clancy MP, Shaun Whitechurch, Deputy Mayor Federation Council, Councillors and supporters coming together to celebrate the completion of the program.

Now in its second year, the Fischer Community Leadership Program is named in honour of the late Tim Fischer AC and aims to enable and empower leadership within the community from the grassroots up. The program is delivered by Alpine Valleys Community Leadership, auspice by the Border Trust and funded by New South Wales Government Stronger Country Communities Fund Round 5 in partnership with Federation Council. This year’s program commenced in May and has seen a cohort of 15 undertake seven evening sessions and one full day workshop. The sessions were designed to maximise capacity building and have immersed participants in a blend of skills and practical learning experiences, including exposure to local leaders from the community, government, and business sectors.

A key component of the program involved project management training, with participants scoping and planning small, community-led projects. The projects span a broad range of focal points and are intended to be “fund-ready”, meaning project teams can now move toward gaining funding to deliver their projects. The cohort’s projects include the Corowa Christmas Quartet Project, which hopes to increase Christmas festivities across Corowa, with the intention of fostering community spirit and generating economic benefit for the township. The Federation Podcast Series celebrates the accomplishments of individuals across Federation Council, while the Neighbourhood House project is an inclusive development that intends to engage older residents to produce a sense of value and increase safety outcomes. The Park Run project is a health initiative, bringing people together to enjoy a run in a safe and welcoming setting, whilst the Rutherglen Wine Bottle Project is a proposed series of community events in 2024/2025 that would celebrate the 125th anniversary of the “Wine Bottle” Water Tower in Rutherglen. The RSL Women’s Memorial Project gives thanks to the women who have served in Australia’s defence force through establishing a permanent plaque at the RSL Memorial Gardens in Rutherglen.

Program Coordinator, Mary Hoodless, said of this year’s program, “The program has drawn in a broad range of leaders who are all at different stages of their journey. It has been a delight to work with these individuals to increase their capacity, so they are better equipped to continue the good work they are doing on the ground, in their communities. The project concepts are all very impressive, and I would encourage Council, any community, or philanthropic groups with available funding streams to consider reaching out to start a conversation about fulfilling project delivery.”

AVCL Executive Officer, Jacqui Bramwell, said, “The Fischer Community Leadership Program is building a strong reputation for its success in increasing the capacity of local leaders. Participants of this year’s program should be proud of their accomplishments, and I am thrilled that we have further funding to deliver the program in both Federation and Greater Hume Councils next year.”