Volunteering Australia is embarking on an exciting journey to lead the development of a National Strategy for Volunteering. The National Strategy will be designed and owned by the volunteering ecosystem and will provide a blueprint for a reimagined future for volunteering in Australia.

This will be Australia’s first National Strategy for Volunteering in ten years. Over the next 12 months, we will be engaging with all members of the volunteering ecosystem to design a National Strategy that is effective, inclusive, and sustainable. Your input is needed to make this project a success.

National Strategy for Volunteering Council

An independent National Strategy for Volunteering Council has been established to provide strategic oversight to the National Strategy project. The role of the Council is to ensure the National Strategy is developed to a high standard and the project meets its objectives.

Grainne O’Loughlin (Chair)
CEO, Karitane

Grainne (BSc. Speech Therapy, MBA, GAICD) joined Karitane in 2014 as CEO and has over 30 years’ experience in public health and community services in the UK and Australia.  She has held a variety of senior executive roles and has extensive strategic and operational management experience in not for profit healthcare and community settings.

Grainne is an experienced Non- Executive Director holding the following appointments Chair, Australasian Association of Parenting & Child Health Board (AAPCH), Chair, NSW Health Services Association Board (HSA), Chair, National Ability Roundtable, Board Director, Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies

Grainne is a strategic, innovative & driven leader who has a strong focus on collaboration across the health & social services sectors and strives to achieve desired outcomes in early intervention and prevention services for families from vulnerable communities. She is committed to building strong connections across the service system and to enabling thriving, vibrant and supported communities.

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Mark Pearce (Deputy Chair)
CEO, Volunteering Australia

Prior to joining Volunteering Australia, Mark was a senior executive at National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and held senior investment banking and institutional funds management roles with Goldman Sachs, JBWere, nab, and Macquarie Bank.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science (Politics and International Relations (Hons.)) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Graduate Diploma in Human Rights from School of Advanced Studies at the University of London and is currently studying for a Master of Public Policy at the Australian National University.

Driven by a strong belief in the transformative power of compassion, Mark applies his skills and expertise as a Non-Executive Director of Community Council for Australia, a member of the Emergency Relief National Coordination Group, and sustainable food company, Growrs Ltd. In addition to a passion for human rights, Mark is active in fighting for animal rights and is Deputy Chair of Australia’s leading animal protection organisation, Animals Australia.

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Mark Pearce (Deputy Chair)
CEO, Volunteering Australia

Andrew Coghlan
Head of Emergency Services, Australian Red Cross

Andrew brings over 20 years’ experience in the emergency management sector. His current role is as Head of Emergency Services with Australian Red Cross (Red Cross), overseeing the national Emergency Services function, and ensuring Red Cross’ ability to promote resilience and build community capacity, both in preparation for, and response to, disasters throughout Australia.

Andrew has played a key role in coordinating the Red Cross response to a range of major emergencies and disasters, Andrew has and contributed to the development of the IFRC Global Resilience Strategy. and He is also a key contributor to the work of the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities.

Andrew is Chair of the Australian Emergency Management Volunteer Forum, a Board member of Volunteering Victoria and the Creative Recovery Network, a former Board member of Volunteering Australia and Asia Australia Mental Health, and a former Vice-President of the International Research Committee on Disasters.

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Andrew Coghlan
Head of Emergency Services, Australian Red Cross

Ashleigh Streeter-Jones
Founder, Raise Our Voice Australia

Described by Forbes Magazine as a “youthful visionary”, Ashleigh Streeter-Jones has worked in advocacy and campaigns for over 10 years, with a focus on youth and gender.

In 2018, She was recognised as one of the Foundation of Young Australians Young Social Pioneers, was named the youngest ever Australian Capital Territory Woman of the Year and was recognised on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

In 2020, Ashleigh launched Raise Our Voice Australia, a training program to boost the presence of young female and non-binary voices in public decision making, and in 2021, ran the first ever Youth Voice to Parliament week. She is recognised as an international thought leader on the importance of young people in the public sector, and has presented on the topic to both domestic and global organisations including the World Economic Forum and World YMCA.

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Ashleigh Streeter-Jones
Founder, Raise Our Voice Australia

Brianna Casey
CEO, Foodbank Australia

Brianna is the CEO of Foodbank Australia, the country’s largest hunger relief organisation. Brianna joined Foodbank in July 2016, following her successful term as CEO of Australian Childcare Alliance NSW.

Prior to that, she spent 14 years in agri-politics, both in NSW (as Policy Director) and Queensland (as CEO). Brianna has served on a number of Ministerial Advisory Councils throughout her career, is an active volunteer in her community and recently received a Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 Award.

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Brianna Casey
CEO, Foodbank Australia

Camilla Rowland
CEO, Palliative Care Australia

Camilla Rowland (EMBA GAICD) is the Chief Executive Officer of Palliative Care Australia (PCA), joining PCA in May 2021. For over 30 years she has worked in the Australian health and community service sectors in CEO, executive, clinical, and educational roles.

Camilla’s breadth of experience includes working with volunteer teams and corporate volunteers in palliative care, aged care, disability services, drug and alcohol services, child youth and family services, and mental health.  She has also had significant experience in industry workforce design and development.

Camilla has held representational and Board roles on health and community sector Boards and Committees in regional, state and national organisations, including 16 years based in rural Australia in VIC, NSW and QLD. This work has been primarily with advocacy and sector capacity building organisations, and this experience has been supported by qualifications including Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an Executive Master of Business Administration, as well as qualifications in social work, adult education, human resources and executive leadership.

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Camilla Rowland
CEO, Palliative Care Australia

Gary Oliver
Managing Director, Synergy Nation Group

Gary Oliver is a proud kuku Yalanji man from Far North Queensland, where the Rain Forest meets the Sea. Gary has over 30 years’ experience working with First Nations communities across Australia, and has dedicated his life to community and developing pathways to a brighter future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians alike.

With a rich and diverse professional career which has spanned military service, senior public service appointments, and Chief Executive roles in the private and Not-For-Profit sector, he is a recipient of the Australian Defence Medal and Premier Awards in Qld and NSW. Gary is on the Board of Save the Children Australia, has served in the Senior Executive Service for the Qld Government, as an Executive member of the NSW Premier and Cabinet Regional Coordination Group, as Chairperson and CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT, and as CEO of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

Gary was a delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. His service includes his peoples Native Title prescribed body Corporate the Western Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, as Director of Synergy Nation Group, and as a founding director of sustainable food company, Growrs Ltd.

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Gary Oliver
Managing Director, Synergy Nation Group

Jo Watson
Director of Supporter Engagement, Save the Children

Jo has over twenty years in leadership roles across marketing, strategy and operations with a background in commercial, not-for-profit and government organisations. Jo has held leadership roles with Telstra, World Vision Australia, YWCA Victoria (CEO) and the State Library Victoria where she was the Director of Community Engagement.

Currently Executive Director of Supporter Engagement at Save the Children Australia, Jo’s portfolio includes Philanthropy, Corporate Partnerships, Fundraising, Marketing and oversight of 80 plus Retail stores that are supported by over 1100 volunteers.

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Jo Watson
Director of Supporter Engagement, Save the Children

Dr Lisa Schimanski
CEO, Volunteering Tasmania

Lisa has been the CEO of Volunteering Tasmania for the past 3 years. She is committed to evidenced-based decision making and advocating for the rights of volunteers and the needs of volunteer-involving organisations in Tasmania. She is passionate about the need to professionalise the volunteer sector to provide better support for volunteers and volunteer managers.

Prior to her role at VT, Lisa was strategic partnerships manager at the Tasmanian Council of Social Service and has worked in the community sector for 9 years. Her career prior to this was in research management at the University of Tasmania.

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Dr Lisa Schimanski
CEO, Volunteering Tasmania

Matthew Calf
Senior Manager – Industry Projects, Sport Australia

Passionate about the power of sport in building healthy, engaged, and productive communities, Matt has spent the past seventeen years driving increased nation-wide participation in sport and physical activity through Sport Australia’s flagship participation programs.

With extensive experience in national policy/program design and implementation, Matt is currently leading the delivery of Sport Australia’s Sport Volunteering National Plan – supporting the sport sector to re-think the volunteer experience and navigate the evolving volunteer landscape.

As a dedicated volunteer across several community sport and arts organisations, Matt also has a deep appreciation of the value of volunteering to individuals and communities.

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Matthew Calf
Senior Manager – Industry Projects, Sport Australia

Professor Melanie Oppenheimer
Australian National University

Melanie (BA, Dip. Ed (UNE); M. Litt (UNE); PhD (Macquarie University) is an Australian historian and a researcher at the Australian National University. She was previously the Chair of History at Flinders University and has held positions in Australian History at the University of Western Sydney, the University of New England and the University of Tokyo. Melanie completed a three-year term as a member of the ARC College of Experts in 2018. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and was elected President of the Australian Historical Association for a two-year term (2020-22).

For over twenty-five years, Melanie has been interested in exploring volunteering and voluntary action from both historical and contemporary perspectives. She has worked with not-for-profit organisations and governments and is widely published, most notably The Red Cross Movement: myths, practices and turning points (2020); Volunteering in Australia (2014), The Power of Humanity: 100 Years of Australian Red Cross (2014), and Volunteering: Why we can’t survive without it (2008).

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Professor Melanie Oppenheimer
Australian National University

Mohammad Al-Khafaji
CEO, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA)

Mohammad Al-Khafaji is from Adelaide and is the CEO of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), the peak national body representing ethnic and multicultural communities in Australia. Mohammad is the former CEO of Welcome to Australia and sits on numerous advisory groups including the SBS Community Advisory Committee.

Born in Iraq, he came to Australia in 2003 via Syria as a refugee when he was 13. As well as English, Mohammad speaks fluent Arabic and Farsi. He completed a Bachelor of Software Engineering at the University of Adelaide in 2012.

Through his refugee journey to Australia, Mohammad has become passionate about the success of Australia’s Multiculturalism. Mohammad believes cultural diversity makes us richer as a society and he is passionate about ensuring the voices of new and emerging communities are heard and are represented.

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Mohammad Al-Khafaji
CEO, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA)

Patrick Burford
Group Manager, Communities Group, Department of Social Services

Patrick Burford is the Group Manager of the Communities Group at the Department of Social Services. The Communities Group collaborates to help build stronger and more resilient individuals, families and communities through targeted services and initiatives that focus on reducing social harm and building the individual and collective capacity and efficacy of our clients.

Prior to joining the Department of Social Services, Patrick was the Regional Manager for the Kimberley in the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), overseeing a range of program delivery and partnerships initiatives across the social and economic landscape. Patrick has also worked on National Education policy for the Commonwealth and has worked in the Health and Education sectors in the Northern Territory where he grew up.

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Patrick Burford
Group Manager, Communities Group, Department of Social Services

Sue Woodward AM
Chief Advisor Not-for-profit Law, Justice Connect

Sue is a qualified lawyer who helps lead Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law program and advocacy work. This free national service provides legal help to not-for-profits and social enterprises, including with issues about managing volunteers. Sue was the inaugural Director of Policy & Education at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and a former academic with the University of Melbourne Law School.

Sue has volunteered with a range of grassroots community organisations over decades and is currently a volunteer board member of the Human Rights Law Centre, the Australian Communities Foundation and is Deputy President of the Victorian Council for Social Service. She has contributed to recent government-led volunteer strategy work in Victoria and South Australia, and is passionate supporting and growing Australia’s volunteer workforce and those organisations who rely on them. Sue received an Australian Honour (AM) in 2021 for services to the not-for-profit sector, including fundraising and to the law.

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Sue Woodward AM
Chief Advisor Not-for-profit Law, Justice Connect

Research Working Group

The Research Working Group has been established to ensure the National Strategy for Volunteering is well informed by research and to act as an advisory body for the Volunteering in Australia research.

Professor Melanie Oppenheimer (Chair)
Professor Emerita, Australian National University

Melanie (BA, Dip. Ed (UNE); M. Litt (UNE); PhD (Macquarie University) is an Australian historian and a researcher at the Australian National University. She was previously the Chair of History at Flinders University and has held positions in Australian History at the University of Western Sydney, the University of New England and the University of Tokyo. Melanie completed a three-year term as a member of the ARC College of Experts in 2018. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and was elected President of the Australian Historical Association for a two-year term (2020-22).

For over twenty-five years, Melanie has been interested in exploring volunteering and voluntary action from both historical and contemporary perspectives. She has worked with not-for-profit organisations and governments and is widely published, most notably The Red Cross Movement: myths, practices and turning points (2020); Volunteering in Australia (2014), The Power of Humanity: 100 Years of Australian Red Cross (2014), and Volunteering: Why we can’t survive without it (2008).

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Professor Melanie Oppenheimer (Chair)
Professor Emerita, Australian National University

Dr Sue Regan (Deputy Chair)
Deputy CEO & Policy Director, Volunteering Australia

Dr Sue Regan is Policy Director and Deputy CEO at Volunteering Australia and is a Visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, at the Australian National University. Sue is Vice President of the Australian Social Policy Association. 

Formerly, Sue was Program Director at the Institute of Public Administration Australia and Program Lead (Social Policy) at the HC Coombs Policy Forum. Prior to her move to Australia in 2010, Sue undertook roles in the non-profit, thinktank and government sectors in the UK, specialising in social policy. This included as Chief Executive Officer of the Resolution Foundation, Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research and Policy Director of Shelter. Sue has an MA in Economics and a PhD in Public Policy.

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Dr Sue Regan (Deputy Chair)
Deputy CEO & Policy Director, Volunteering Australia

Carissa Jedwab
Research Officer, AMES Australia

Carissa Jedwab is a social researcher and policy advisor with six years’ experience in the migration and humanitarian settlement sector, and has a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. 

In her current role at AMES Carissa delivers primary research and policy advice that reflects the diverse needs and experiences of multicultural communities in Victoria. 

Carissa’s interests include volunteering within culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and supporting newly arrived migrants and refugees to access the benefits of volunteering. Carissa also led the development of a new volunteering strategy for AMES in 2021.

Carissa’s volunteer experience includes Diversity and Inclusion Advisor for the Australian Red Cross, and English language tutor supporting new migrants to Australia.

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Carissa Jedwab
Research Officer, AMES Australia

Dr Christel Mex
Research Associate, Flinders University

Christel is the Independent Chair of the Volunteering Strategy for South Australia, which aims to grow volunteering and enrich the experience for its volunteers. The strategy is a unique partnership between the Government of South Australia, Volunteering SA-NT, Business SA and the Local Government Association.

Completing a PhD with Flinders University in 2019, her research investigates the challenging question of why people aren’t putting up their hand to be volunteer leaders of grassroots organisations.

In her spare time, Christel is also a Councillor with the City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters and an active volunteer in her local community. Her other qualifications include a Masters of Business Administration, Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Bachelor of Arts. Christel’s previous career included executive roles at the Office for Volunteers, Adelaide Festival Centre, State Library, Department of the Premier and Cabinet and Department for Environment.

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Dr Christel Mex
Research Associate, Flinders University

Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal
Professor of Management, Macquarie University

Debbie Haski-Leventhal (PhD) is a Professor of Management at Macquarie Business School and an expert on volunteerism, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and responsible management education (RME). She is the author of four books: Strategic CSR: A Holistic Approach to Responsible and Sustainable Business (SAGE, 2nd edition 2021), The Purpose-Driven University and Employee Engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Debbie has published over 60 academic papers on volunteering, CSR, corporate volunteering, and employee engagement in CSR in leading academic journals such as Human Relations, NVSQ, Voluntas, Journal of Business Ethics, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Her work was covered many times by the media, including the New York Times and Financial Review. She is the editor-in-chief of Society and Business Review and sits on the editorial boards of several leading journals, such as NVSQ.  Debbie Haski-Leventhal is a TED speaker and a purpose-leader.

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Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal
Professor of Management, Macquarie University

Khushnood Naqshbandi
PhD Candidate, University of Sydney

Khushnood Naqshbandi is a Human-Computer Interaction and Social Computing researcher and specialises in human-centered design and computing. Her research examines the design of digital technology to facilitate volunteerism and the various technological, social, and psychological considerations that factor into the engagement and wellbeing of digital volunteers.

 

Her research has produced several design insights focusing on designing technology for volunteer-involving organisations, understanding experiential differences between online and in-person volunteering, creating a sense of meaningful social connectedness in online volunteering communities, understanding digital divide and inclusion in online volunteering, and the challenges in fostering sustainability in online volunteering platforms.

 

She has published her work in several reputable conferences and journals including Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) and International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction (IJCHI). Her research on digital volunteerism draws inspiration from her own experiences as a volunteer, both in-person and online, for several causes ranging from citizen science to refugee settlement.

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Khushnood Naqshbandi
PhD Candidate, University of Sydney

Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney
Associate Professor, Griffith University

Leonie Lockstone-Binney is Associate Professor and Research Director in the Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management at Griffith University, Australia. Leonie’s research expertise relates to volunteering, contextualised to event and tourism settings.

Leonie has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles, many of these in top-tier journals. She has received competitive research funding from the Australian Research Council and the International Olympic Committee and continues to collaborate with leading researchers from Australia, the UK and New Zealand.

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Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney
Associate Professor, Griffith University

Dr Mario Peucker
Senior Research Fellow, Victoria University

Mario Peucker is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University’s Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities (ISILC), and an executive member of the Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies (CRIS).

Mario has conducted qualitative and quantitative research on various forms of civic and political participation, citizenship and inclusion-exclusion dynamics since 2003, both in Europe and (since 2011) in Australia.

One central perspective of Mario’s recent work in this area has been to explore volunteering within ethnically and religiously diverse communities in Australia, which has led to his co-edited book Muslim Volunteering in the West: Between Islamic Ethos and Citizenship.

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Dr Mario Peucker
Senior Research Fellow, Victoria University

Dr Megan Paull
Senior Lecturer & Postgraduate Research Chair, Murdoch University

Megan Paull’s volunteering and volunteer management research interests have included managing older volunteers, the use of feedback to manage volunteer performance, university student volunteering, and managing volunteers when behaviour is not so “good”. Her current projects include Volunteering in Aged Care settings in Western Australia during COVID-19, and Valuing Volunteer Managers. Megan’s research is largely qualitative and seeks to incorporate the voices of the volunteers and those who manage them.

Megan teaches multidisciplinary postgraduate units in non-profit management and leadership, and business, society and the environment, as well as supervising higher degree by research candidates. An active volunteer, Megan has served on a number of boards including in schools, aged care services, and for peak volunteering organisations. The importance of quality research and the interpretation and translation of research outcomes for application in the field are an important part of Megan’s research contribution. 

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Dr Megan Paull
Senior Lecturer & Postgraduate Research Chair, Murdoch University

Associate Professor Patrick Dunlop
Associate Professor, Curtin University

Patrick Dunlop is an Associate Professor at the Curtin University Future of Work Institute, Faculty of Business and Law. Patrick’s research areas are focused on personnel (work and volunteer) attraction and recruitment, assessment, and selection, and how these processes are undertaken occur in the context of rapid technological change.

Patrick also has three years’ professional experience working in the recruitment sector as a psychological assessment consultant, and is a Registered Psychologist with endorsement in the area of Organisational Psychology.  Patrick is a skilled applied researcher. Indeed, he has undertaken research projects funded by the ARC, the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, and directly by industry, with a total funding of over $2million.

Of relevance to this role are his recent ARC and CRC-funded projects in collaboration with the Scouts and the Emergency Services. These projects drew from principles learned from organisational psychology to identify ways of improving volunteer attraction and retention.

Both projects have led to the introduction of new volunteer recruitment and retention practices, and a translation project that will deliver accessible online training to volunteer leaders on volunteer management, due to be delivered by the end of 2021.

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Associate Professor Patrick Dunlop
Associate Professor, Curtin University

Dr Rachel Winterton
Senior Research Fellow, La Trobe University

Dr Winterton has approximately 12 years’ experience researching topics associated with volunteering, healthy ageing and rurality, in collaboration with national and international research colleagues and industry partners.

She has published extensively in key international journals and edited volumes on conflict in relation to rights and responsibilities of older volunteers in rural areas, the role of volunteering in supporting healthy ageing, barriers and enablers to engagement of older rural volunteers, contributions of older rural volunteers to community sustainability and the role of governments and communities in supporting engagement of rural older volunteers. She has recently led the development of a competency framework for health volunteer management in Victoria, which was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

In her personal life, she has over 15 years’ experience of volunteering in sporting organisations, particularly in the aquatic sport sector.

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Dr Rachel Winterton
Senior Research Fellow, La Trobe University

Dr Rong Zhu
Senior Lecturer in Economics, Flinders University

Rong Zhu received his PhD in Economics from the University of New South Wales in 2012. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the College of Business, Government and Law, Flinders University.

He is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for Labor Economics (IZA) and a Fellow at the Global Labor Organization (GLO). Using advanced econometric and statistical approaches, Rong’s quantitative research has contributed to the understanding of labour market functioning, individual economic behaviours, and health and well-being. His recent research on volunteering in Australia focuses on the economic impact of volunteering on individual happiness and the socioeconomic determinants of voluntary work provision.

Rong’s research papers about volunteering in Australia have been published in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization and Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.

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Dr Rong Zhu
Senior Lecturer in Economics, Flinders University

Dr Toby Newstead
Lecturer in Management, University of Tasmania

Toby is a leadership scholar at the University of Tasmania (UTas). Her previous consulting work and current research and teaching efforts are focused on leadership development and leadership ethics. Over the last two years,

Toby has established and grown a research team at the University of Tasmania that is focused on exploring leadership within the volunteer sector. UTas currently have three full-time PhD candidates and a team of six supervisors from disciplines including management, marketing, critical accounting, and behavioural economics.

Their research is looking at experiences of leadership and management in Tasmania’s volunteer sector; emergency service volunteers’ motivational profiles and preferred leadership styles; board leadership and corporate governance in the volunteering sector; volunteer re-engagement post COVID; and leading mental health in volunteer workforces.

Toby’s own volunteering activities are focused on helping in her children’s school and in her rowing club.

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Dr Toby Newstead
Lecturer in Management, University of Tasmania

Volunteer Management Working Group

The Volunteer Management Working Group has been established to ensure the National Strategy for Volunteering is well informed by best-practice volunteer involvement.

Jessie Harman (Chair)
Non-Executive Director, Rotary International

Jessie is a highly experienced non-executive director, volunteer leader and senior manager. She is currently a non-executive director of Rotary International, a global network of more than 46,000 member clubs and 1.4 million volunteers. Over two decades with Rotary, Jessie has held membership development roles at international, regional, and local levels, including as Chair of the Rotary International Membership Committee, Zone Co-Ordinator (Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands) and District Governor. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast in Ballarat, Australia.

In addition, Jessie is a non-executive director of Rotary Foundation Australia, Ballarat Community Health, and UNE Partnerships.  Her previous directorships have included volunteer involving organisations in the arts, adult education, and disability sectors in Victoria.

In her professional life, Jessie held senior roles in higher education, finishing as Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Partnerships) at Federation University. She now works as a consultant. Jessie holds a PhD (Social Entrepreneurship), MBA and BA (Hons) and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Jessie Harman (Chair)
Non-Executive Director, Rotary International

Adam Woods
DigiVol Online Coordinator, Centre for Citizen Science, Australian Museum Research Institute

Adam Woods is currently the DigiVol Online Coordinator at the Australian Museum, a crowdsourcing program that encourages volunteers to support the digitization of museum specimens around the world.

Having spent more than 12 years working in community engagement and environmental management, Adam has witnessed firsthand the potential for volunteers to apply their skills to a myriad of tasks. More recently, Adam has been captivated by witnessing the knowledge held within the community and saw the need to embrace and record this knowledge – to provide land managers and researchers more data to guide decisions about the future of Australia’s biodiversity.

Prior to working on DigiVol in 2020, Adam spent 2 years working on the Australian Museum’s FrogID, and was a team leader, project officer and regional manager for Conservation Volunteers Australia. Adam has also been a board member of Landcare Illawarra and Intrepid Landcare.

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Adam Woods
DigiVol Online Coordinator, Centre for Citizen Science, Australian Museum Research Institute

Carol Cunningham
Head of Volunteer Management, parkrun Australia

Carol Cunningham is the Head of Volunteer Management for parkrun Australia. parkrun is a global movement that supports communities to deliver free, weekly events every weekend, enabling people to volunteer, walk, run, or spectate in order to improve their health and happiness. Carol, who herself was the founding volunteer Event Director of Australia’s third parkrun in 2011, supports a network of more than 135,000 amazing volunteers at parkrun events across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan.

Carol is passionate about supporting more people to understand and experience the range of benefits that volunteering provides for them and their community. Carol believes volunteering should be promoted as a hugely positive experience that can have a transformative impact on many people’s lives — not as a sacrifice, rather as fun, positive and life-affirming. A fellow Chartered Accountant, Carol is originally from Hull in the UK and has worked in cities such as Melbourne, Beijing, Tokyo, and Singapore.

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Carol Cunningham
Head of Volunteer Management, parkrun Australia

Dalovia Auyang
Corporate Affairs Officer, Chinese Australian Services Society

Dalovia has dedicated over 13 years to the public and not-for-profit community services sector in a variety of roles. She has strategic and operational management experience in community services and is currently in Corporate Affairs at the Chinese Australian Services Society (CASS), a not-for-profit community organisation.

Dalovia has a deep understanding of the value of volunteer work to individuals and communities and strives to enable a thriving and supported volunteer sector to achieve desired outcomes. She is passionate about community inclusivity and diversity and has extensive experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. She currently oversees CASS’s volunteer operations.

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Dalovia Auyang
Corporate Affairs Officer, Chinese Australian Services Society

DJ Cronin
State Manager Volunteering Services, UnitingCare Queensland

Irish born, DJ Cronin has lived in Australia since 1995 and resides in the beautiful Redlands Coast near Brisbane. DJ has worked in the field of Volunteer Management for the past 24 years leading volunteers in hospitals, community recovery, emergency operations, and various national and state community organisations. DJ is currently the Manager, Volunteering Services at UnitingCare where he shares his expertise in volunteer leadership, governance, policies, and principles, as well as strategy and development.

DJ has twice been a faculty member with the Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management and his work with volunteers has been recognised by innovation awards from the Private Hospital Association Queensland and the Australian Private Hospital Association.

DJ is passionate about volunteering, believing it to be a global movement for positive change and is equally passionate about effective volunteer management. He has presented workshops on Volunteer Management around Australia and has authored several articles for various publications on the subject. DJ is a member of the International Association for Volunteer Effort.

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DJ Cronin
State Manager Volunteering Services, UnitingCare Queensland

Gerri Clay
CEO, EdConnect Australia

Gerri is currently the CEO for EdConnect Australia, a NFP that recruits volunteers to support disadvantaged and disengaged students in schools to thrive and reach their full potential. Annually EdConnect’s 1,400 volunteers support 250 schools across WA, Victoria and NSW.

Her career has focused on supporting the not-for-profit sector spanning education, disability, and aged care. Volunteering has been a part of every program delivery model and been an essential element of providing sound Board governance. Gerri is a keen advocate for volunteering recognising the enormous benefits it can bring to both the recipient and the volunteer.

Having originally qualified as an occupational therapist, she is an experienced CEO who has worked in the UK and Australia. Her expertise includes community care provision across aged care, disability, and mental health with specialisation in dementia care, assistive technologies and home modifications and the education sector.

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Gerri Clay
CEO, EdConnect Australia

Kylie Elliott
Volunteer and Supporter Engagement Lead, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation

Volunteer and Supporter Engagement Lead, Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation

Kylie is a nationally recognised Volunteer Manager with 12 years’ experience in the for-purpose sector. As a dedicated volunteer for more than 30 years, she turned her passion into a career 12 years ago. Kylie’s experience in leading and participating in volunteer programs within the community services sector spans across disability, mental health, financial hardship, and hospitals. She has led individual volunteers, students, TAFE and university pupils, volunteers with disabilities, and corporate volunteers.

Responsible for setting up and growing the Volunteer Program at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation, Kylie has also been involved in creating policy and procedures, ensuring they’re aligned to the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement. She created innovative, paperless processes and continues to pivot with the changing needs of the community, particularly during the onset of the pandemic. Kylie was the recipient of the 2020 NSW Excellence in Volunteer Management award.

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Kylie Elliott
Volunteer and Supporter Engagement Lead, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation

Leesa Riley
Statewide Volunteering Manager, Parks Victoria

Leesa has sixteen years’ experience in professional volunteer management. Leesa is currently the Statewide Volunteering Manager at Parks Victoria responsible for developing the Volunteering in Parks Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021, the award-winning online volunteer management system, ParkConnect, and delivering industry first programs to encourage and expand volunteering, including the Volunteering Innovation Fund.

Previously Leesa pioneered a Project Manager role between Conservation Volunteers Australia and Parks Victoria building understanding between diverse sectors and developing exemplary volunteer partner models. Leesa spent 11 years at Conservation Volunteers Australia developing volunteer engagement programs both in Australia and internationally, achieving natural and cultural conservation goals.

Leesa gained her Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA) in 2021 and is a Professional Leader of Volunteers (PLV) since 2019.

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Leesa Riley
Statewide Volunteering Manager, Parks Victoria

Loren Ayres
Senior Manager, People (Volunteering), Cancer Council Queensland

Loren Ayres is the Senior Manager, People (Volunteering) at Cancer Council Queensland. In this role, she provides leadership and direction in the growth, development, and engagement of volunteers to increase and diversify the volunteer program.

Prior to joining Cancer Council Queensland, Loren held a leadership role at World Vision Australia and has held various leadership roles within volunteer involving organisations in the non-profit sector for eight years. She is passionate about future-proofing the volunteering sector, which has seen her developing innovative strategies to support cross-generational volunteering, preparing the industry to pivot with the shifting requirements of both volunteers and volunteer involving organisations.

Loren holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Sociology) from the Australian Catholic University and a Graduate Certificate in Business, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies from the Queensland University of Technology. Her qualifications and professional background are complemented by her dedication to volunteering with an organisation providing services to individuals experiencing homelessness.

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Loren Ayres
Senior Manager, People (Volunteering), Cancer Council Queensland

Michelle Greenwood
President, Invisible Illnesses

Michelle Greenwood is the Founder/President of Invisible Illnesses Inc.  which is a registered not for profit, in-person support and social group for those who suffer from an invisible illness in WA.

Michelle knows what it’s like living with an invisible illness and the challenges faced by the stigma attached. She frequently talks about living with an invisible illness and shares her story in the hope that others can find some sort of inspiration.

Michelle is well known in and around her local community for being passionate about helping others with hidden conditions and as a forward thinker. Many other organisations tend to lean towards Michelle when they need information.

Prior to become ill Michelle was a Legal Secretary. Michelle has completed her Cert IV in Community Services and is always looking at ways to upskill not just herself but also her team.

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Michelle Greenwood
President, Invisible Illnesses

Mike Feszczak
Founding Member and Facilitator, Volunteering Strategy for South Australia

Mike is a former UK Police Inspector who emigrated to Adelaide in 2005 and now has over 17 years’ experience in the event, not for profit, and volunteer sectors. He currently manages a large local government volunteer program and operates his business delivering child protection, volunteer management, and leadership training.

He has fulfilled many state-wide roles to support the development of volunteering and volunteer management including as a member of the Minister’s Advisory Group on Volunteering, Working Group Chair for the Volunteering Strategy for South Australia and Chair of the Local Government Volunteer Managers Network.

During 2020 Mike was the recipient of the inaugural South Australian Award for Excellence in Volunteer Management and he is currently Deputy Chair of the Volunteering SA&NT Board.

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Mike Feszczak
Founding Member and Facilitator, Volunteering Strategy for South Australia

Sabrina Fuechsle
Volunteer Experience Manager, Lifeline Australia

Sabrina has over 15 years’ volunteer management experience in the education, humanitarian, international development, and mental health sector within organisations of varying sizes, both domestically and overseas. She has managed over 2000 volunteers though the volunteer lifecycle, built the capacity of volunteer managers, and engaged various stakeholders to create empowering change and work towards common goals.

Her experience includes leading change relating to volunteer engagement and building the capacity of volunteer managers at the Australian Red Cross; leading projects and volunteers from various countries in a refugee camp in Greece; improving the student experience at two Australian universities though the development and implementation of student volunteering programs; and engaging corporate, student, and community volunteers in the delivery of major fundraising campaigns in the Australian charity sector.

As a volunteer, Sabrina has been a member of the NSW State Emergency Service; a crew member on a search and rescue vessel off the coast of Africa; volunteer team leader for community engagement projects in Peru and Vanuatu; a bush regeneration volunteer with NSW National Parks; and a judo trainer.

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Sabrina Fuechsle
Volunteer Experience Manager, Lifeline Australia

Stella Molloy
Volunteer Coordinator, RSPCA ACT

Stella joined RSPCA ACT in October 2020 as the volunteer coordinator. During Stella’s time with RSPCA ACT, she has worked closely with the volunteering team to build relationships with each other and develop additional skills and abilities. Stella is passionate about supporting her team of over 300 volunteers and is often looking for innovative ways to build two-way engagement with the team.

Prior to joining the RSPCA Stella worked in a variety of sectors including the National Zoo and Aquarium, administrative roles, big box retail management.

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Stella Molloy
Volunteer Coordinator, RSPCA ACT

Thu-Trang Tran
CEO, Volunteer West

Thu-Trang began her career as a commercial and information technology lawyer in Sydney. She has been able to combine her social justice values and strategic leadership work over the past two decades across Australia and overseas, in organisations such as Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers, Vodafone, Equitas, Oxfam, University of Melbourne, and the Victorian Government. She also founded a social enterprise in Vietnam.

Thu-Trang serves as a Commissioner on the Victorian Building Authority Board, a member of the Ministerial Taskforce for Victorian Volunteer Strategy, a Board Director at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, and a Regional Advisory Council Member with the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

Thu-Trang is a life-long learner and is at the latter stage of her doctorate examining wise practice in public administration, what it looks like and its enablers and barriers, including a novel look at wise leadership in public management.

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Thu-Trang Tran
CEO, Volunteer West

Tracey O’Neill
Senior Manager Volunteer Engagement, Brotherhood of St Laurence

Tracey O’Neill, CVA has been a leader of volunteer engagement since 2001 and is currently the Senior Manager of Volunteer Engagement at the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, a social justice organisation that works to prevent and alleviate poverty across Australia. She spent one term as a board member of the Australasian Association for Managers of Volunteers (AAMoV) and was a member of the Victorian Volunteer Strategy Taskforce (Australia).

Tracey is proud to be Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) and a 2020 Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (Al!ve) Exemplary Leader award recipient. She has been a co-editor of the Voices section of the online journal Engage: the global voice for leaders of volunteer engagement since 2019.

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Tracey O’Neill
Senior Manager Volunteer Engagement, Brotherhood of St Laurence

Corporate Volunteering Working Group

The Corporate Volunteering Working Group has been established to ensure the National Strategy for Volunteering can recognise and amplify the role of corporate volunteering in Australia.

Leigh Simmonds (Chair)
Manager, External Relations, Pfizer

Leigh is a change maker. Rarely satisfied with the status quo, she is an innovator of programs and systems that inspire and activate collaboration and are set to transform people and populations. She is an advocate for change that leads to equity and better outcomes for all.

Leigh has a clinical background in palliative care and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Western Sydney. Throughout her double-decade career as a health communicator and stakeholder relations manager, Leigh has worked in private and not for profit enterprises including Cancer Council NSW, leading a large team to deliver population cancer control strategies. Leigh is passionate about empowering health consumers to drive the best health outcomes for themselves and those they care for.

In her corporate career, Leigh has held leadership roles in corporate affairs and stakeholder relations. During this time Leigh has held functional roles and led teams in issues management, social responsibility, volunteer program leadership, and impact investing.

In her current role at Pfizer Leigh focuses on engagement with Patient Groups and leads Pfizer’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program – Pfizer CARES, including Reconciliation Action Plan leadership. She was also the inaugural Chair of the IMPACT2030 Council of Australia.

In her spare-time Leigh enjoys cycling with her blended family and walking her two cavoodles Doogle and Coco.

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Leigh Simmonds (Chair)
Manager, External Relations, Pfizer

Ash Rosshandler
CEO, GoodCompany

Ash Rosshandler is the CEO of GoodCompany, the country’s largest unified Workplace Giving, Volunteering, Fundraising and Rewards Platform. In 2011, Ash led the merger of GoodCompany with the Karma Currency Foundation to unlock the nexus between corporate volunteering and donating.

Prior to that Ash founded the Karma Currency Foundation, launching Australia’s first Charity Gift Card. Ash is an active volunteer in his community and has received the Australasian Fundraiser of the Year award and the Westpac Business of Tomorrow award.

With degrees in Philosophy and Accounting, Ash is drawn to the Triple Bottom Line and assisting business, government, and organisations to become a ‘Force for Good’.

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Ash Rosshandler
CEO, GoodCompany

Carlie Jones
Community Volunteering Advisor, Royal Automobile Club of WA

Carlie’s work is currently focused on delivering a best practice and award-winning corporate volunteering program for RAC WA, a diverse and purpose-led member organisation that strives to inspire positive community change and make life better in WA.

Carlie has gained valuable expertise across multiple industries including social and community impact, human resources, and public health. Carlie’s applied knowledge has stemmed from her work in community and corporate environments as well as higher degree and academic research. Her work has produced deliverables for National Health and Medical Research Council funded projects and further recognised through publications in public health peer reviewed journals.

Carlie is an active member of the Corporate Volunteer Council in WA where she provides expertise and support to ensure volunteering within the corporate sector is prioritised and remains relevant. Through this work, meaningful and sustainable outcomes are directed to the community.

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Carlie Jones
Community Volunteering Advisor, Royal Automobile Club of WA

Debbie Haski-Leventhal
Professor of Management, Macquarie University

Debbie Haski-Leventhal (PhD) is a Professor of Management at Macquarie Business School and an expert on volunteerism, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and responsible management education (RME). She is the author of four books: Strategic CSR: A Holistic Approach to Responsible and Sustainable Business (SAGE, 2nd edition 2021), The Purpose-Driven University and Employee Engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Debbie has published over 60 academic papers on volunteering, CSR, corporate volunteering, and employee engagement in CSR in leading academic journals such as Human Relations, NVSQ, Voluntas, Journal of Business Ethics, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Her work was covered many times by the media, including the New York Times and Financial Review. She is the editor-in-chief of Society and Business Review and sits on the editorial boards of several leading journals, such as NVSQ.  Debbie Haski-Leventhal is a TED speaker and a purpose-leader.

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Debbie Haski-Leventhal
Professor of Management, Macquarie University

Kris Ashpole
Global Community Impact Leader, Australia and New Zealand, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies

Kris joined Johnson & Johnson in 2011 and today, she leads the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies’, strategic philanthropy work covering Australia, New Zealand, and their nearest neighbours. This work covers social impact programs, product donations, disaster relief, and employee volunteering. Kris also leads implementation of Johnson & Johnson’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.

Over the course of her career in healthcare, she has worked with Federal and State governments, the NGO sector, and the business sector.  She has consulted to many corporate entities across several industries from pharmaceutical, medical device, biotech, banking and consumer health to State and Federal governments. She is a board member with Bridging the Gap Foundation.

Kris has a firm belief that uniting different sectors together can have an immense impact in addressing some of our biggest social issues. Kris holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Canberra, a Master of Public Health from the University of New South Wales, and is working towards a Masters in International Development.

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Kris Ashpole
Global Community Impact Leader, Australia and New Zealand, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies

Laura Cochrane
Head of Strategic Giving, National Australia Bank (NAB)

Laura Cochrane is a social impact leader and strategic communicator. She is co-lead of National Australia Bank’s philanthropic portfolio, overseeing the NAB Foundation and volunteering and giving programs for the organisation’s 30,000 employees. She is passionate about building bridges between those who have influence and power and those who need them to affect social change.

Laura started her career as a financial journalist, reporting on credit and emerging markets for Euromoney/Institutional Investor and for Bloomberg News across Australia, the UK, and the US. She has also held roles managing media and employee communications for executives at The Royal Bank of Scotland and National Australia bank.

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Laura Cochrane
Head of Strategic Giving, National Australia Bank (NAB)

Lucy Doyle
Head of Strategic Giving, National Australia Bank (NAB)

Lucy has 15 years’ experience in leadership roles across the corporate and not-for-profit world in Australia and globally. She is co-lead of the National Australia Bank’s philanthropic portfolio, including the NAB Foundation, and NAB’s giving and volunteering program for its 30,000 people. She has a deep understanding for philanthropy and giving in all forms and is passionate about the important role business must play to create shared value and positive social outcomes.

Lucy is also a Director of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, a not-for-profit that offers scholarships to staff and board members of charitable organisations to improve their ability to lead, manage and govern to build capability to deliver for their communities and maximise social impact. Prior to running NAB’s philanthropic portfolio, Lucy worked in various sustainability, corporate affairs roles in large-listed companies in Australia, Asia, and the UK in a range of sectors.

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Lucy Doyle
Head of Strategic Giving, National Australia Bank (NAB)

Margaret Moreton
Mission Lead, Resilient Communities Mission, Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood Resilience

Dr Margaret Moreton is the Resilient Communities Mission Lead for the Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience initiative. Margaret leads work to build disaster resilience in communities across Australia, particularly those significantly exposed or vulnerable to fire or flood.

Margaret and the Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience team partner with communities, non-government organisations, all levels of government, emergency services organisations, community-based groups and organisations, and the business and philanthropy sectors. A key project within the Resilient Communities Mission is the Australian Resilience Corps which provides Australians with a mechanism to volunteer to support communities prepare for disasters.

Margaret has held a number of advisory roles to support the development of frameworks and reports that now guide disaster resilience, including Australia’s Vulnerability Framework and Australia’s Disaster Risk Reduction Framework. She is also the author of ‘Community Engagement for Disaster Resilience’ (AIDR) and ‘After the Disaster – Recovery for Australia’s Children’ (UNICEF).

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Margaret Moreton
Mission Lead, Resilient Communities Mission, Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood Resilience

Olivia Gatt
Corporate Events Coordinator, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation

As Corporate Events Coordinator for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation (SCHF), Olivia combines her passion for logistical planning with a desire to make a difference to the lives of sick children.

Armed with an Advanced Diploma in Event Management and a drive to learn, Olivia joined SCHF in 2020 and realised early on that despite restrictions impacting physical events, she could bring her knowledge and passion into an area that remained in high demand – corporate volunteering.

Olivia now holds a pivotal role within the corporate team. She has strengthened the corporate volunteering program within SCHF by providing unique and impactful opportunities to corporate donors, as well as pioneering the organisation’s first virtual volunteering session.

Olivia is driven by the impact she makes, by not only helping the donor engage with the charity and connect to the cause, but also in providing an inspiring and moving session for donors to take back to the workplace.

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Olivia Gatt
Corporate Events Coordinator, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation

Rebecca Humphris
Social Impact Manager, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) Australia

Rebecca Humphris is a Manager in PwC’s Social Impact team based in Sydney. Rebecca manages PwC’s volunteering program, corporate mentoring program, and national mentoring relationship with the Australian Business and Community Network. Prior to joining the Social Impact team, Rebecca worked in PwC’s Consulting practice as part of the Risk & Regulation team.

Rebecca is passionate about connecting people, organisations, and networks to solve important problems and cross-sector collaboration to drive meaningful change in the For Purpose sector. Rebecca is grateful to have the opportunity in her current role to work with people to connect their diverse skills, talent, passions, and experiences to make a difference.

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Rebecca Humphris
Social Impact Manager, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) Australia

Ruth Lee
Manager, Give2 and Give Time, Origin Energy Foundation

Ruth (BBus, MEng) joined the Origin Energy Foundation as the Manager of the Volunteering and Matched Giving Programs in 2014, building on her previous experience working with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Since then, employee participation in volunteering has increased from 15% to 45%, and the program has received Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards from Workplace Giving Australia.

In line with the Foundation’s focus on equity of opportunity in education, Origin’s volunteering program facilitates school outreach – bringing real world learning into the classroom, particularly for schools that otherwise could not access these opportunities. Ruth participates on the Education Qld STEM Cross Sector Reference Group and Engineers Australia Education Roundtable. She was a Council Member of the Open Learning Institute for nine years.

Ruth is passionate about the potential benefits that corporate volunteering can offer the for-purpose sector, while also benefiting corporates fostering higher employee engagement through a holistic approach to social responsibility.

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Ruth Lee
Manager, Give2 and Give Time, Origin Energy Foundation

Traci Gamblin
Executive Manager Engagement, Volunteering WA

Dedicated to harnessing and promoting the power of volunteering, Traci developed and now oversees Volunteering WA’s leading corporate volunteering program, which connects thousands of corporate employees into organisations that need their support.

Traci established Australia’s first Corporate Volunteer Council comprising business leaders in WA committed to advancing corporate volunteering and works with other volunteering peak bodies to share knowledge of this growing area.

Traci’s role at Volunteering WA also involves sponsorships and partnerships, as well as marketing, communications, and events. She is passionate about bringing people and organisations together to tackle some of the community’s most pressing challenges.

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Traci Gamblin
Executive Manager Engagement, Volunteering WA

Victor Lee
CEO & Co-Founder, Communiteer

Victor Lee is the CEO & Co-Founder of Communiteer, a social enterprise that solves problems he’s experienced first-hand in the corporate and community sectors. Victor founded his career in the corporate sector as a management consultant specialising in Change Management, Project Management, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

In 2009, Victor became the Chief Operating Officer of Australia’s first online mental health community at ReachOut,. He utilised his skills in capacity building and infrastructure projects in the social housing and disability services sectors for the next few years before making his mark as the General Manager of Knowmore Legal Service, Australia’s largest Community Legal Centre that provides free legal advice to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

Victor is a Finalist for Australia’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and an Alumni of Social Leadership Australia, the Australian Institute of Company Directors & The Growth Project. He is an Advisor to RMIT’s Crowdsourcing Research Network & APC’s School of Social Entrepreneurship.

Most importantly, Victor has been a lifelong volunteer for over 30 years and strives to be a role-model for his son and other young people in order to create an ethical and sustainable future.

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Victor Lee
CEO & Co-Founder, Communiteer