Future of Shepparton
Last century, Shepparton attracted immigrants from around the world who found work in agriculture, orchards, packing sheds and food processing. They also embraced a lifestyle with access to rivers, sports ovals and affordable homes perfect for raising a family.
Humble beginnings have not been a barrier to the creation of vibrant, community-focused role models, who have progressively expanded opportunities for education and have sought to turn cultural diversity and artistic expression into a grassroots community asset.
Culturally rich, the community has also faced a succession of challenges, as community members strive to be seen and heard with many workers on the basic wage juggling scarce funds to raise a family.
Today Shepparton is a blend of tree changers and change seekers; agribusinesses and workers; with some communities still struggling to emerge and thrive after decades of being marginalised.
Despite numerous success stories, Greater Shepparton still ranks among the most disadvantaged communities in Victoria, underlining the importance of the ongoing work of the Fairley Foundation and partners. Although the Fairley Foundation’s focus is the arts, increasing levels of research and data display the impact of a vibrant arts community on social and emotional outcomes that can result in financial and economic progress.
The Fairley Foundation stands proudly with Greater Shepparton leaders to reject the narrative of disadvantage that has shackled growth and aspiration of the region in the past, and recognises the achievements and future potential of residents, creating a pathway to a stronger Shepparton.
The Foundation is keenly focused on building liveability of Shepparton, with a particular focus on enhancing participation and access to cultural programs and the arts for all in the region.