The Tim Fischer Community Leadership Program aims to develop leaders who will make a difference in the regions

Judy Brewer, the wife of late parliamentarian Tim Fischer, said her husband would be delighted to be associated with a new grassroots leadership program to be unveiled next week in southern New South Wales.

Ms Brewer is a patron of the Fischer Community Leadership Program, which will launch at one of Mr Fischer’s favorite places, Albury Station.

The program is run by Albury Wodonga’s community philanthropic foundation, Border Trust, and will be implemented by the Alpine Valley Community Leadership Program.

Program coordinator Mary Hoodless said this year’s first Fischer leadership program will run as a pilot program from late May through September, with up to 20 participants and will be based in Holbrook and Henty.

Ms. Hoodless said the vision was to develop leadership skills and create a group of community leaders who could make a real difference through collective action, embodying everything Mr. Fischer was.

“Wouldn’t see himself a leader”

Ms Brewer said her husband would be happy to have the Fischer name linked to the program.

“To me, this is a great legacy for Tim. I know he would be very happy to contribute his name to a local leadership program in our area that encourages and brings in new leaders,” she said.

“I think he would like the fact that the program revolves around rural and regional towns.”

Ms Brewer said her husband, a former deputy prime minister and leader of the National Party, would not have considered himself a leader when he was younger.

“This kid from Boree Creek who was a little different and a little weird at times probably never would have seen himself as a leader, but he certainly became one,” she said.

“Leadership is not just the loudest person or the most well-known person.

“One of the joys I’ve had in life is working on leadership programs with autistic adults, and autistic adults aren’t necessarily the loudest people in the room, in fact, communication is one of the things people with autism do differently, and yet I’ve seen some of the greatest leaders I’ve worked with go through those programs,” she said.

Tim Fischer with his wife, Judy Brewer, standing on a railway platform at Albury Station, 2019.(Australian History: Ben Cheshire)

The scheme is backed by NSW Liberal Albury member Justin Clancy, who said it enabled and empowered community leaders.

“I believe that the strength of our community is based within, and I also believe that we are all called at different times to be a leader in various forms,” ​​he said.

“I think most of the time we feel like we want to contribute, but we don’t know how to. This program is about helping provide ideas and skills to people who are passionate about the community.”

Mr. Clancy said it was fitting that the program honored Mr. Fischer.

“It was only natural to give his name to the program. Tim Fischer embodies leadership and still means so much to so many in our community,” he said.

“Huge Shoes to Fill”

Ms. Hoodless said this is a very exciting program for new and emerging leaders or those who may already have prominent roles within their community to enhance their skills and develop their leadership so that they can make a difference in their communities,” she said.

“Tim Fischer was definitely one of our best leaders.

“He was an incredible leader in both his personal and public life, and it is an absolute privilege for the Border Trust to take on the responsibility and secure the funding to run this programme.

“We certainly have huge shoes to fill and a great role model to lead us.”

Kevin E. Boling