Our Dedicated Team
Simon has been involved in the not for profit sector for almost 15 years, having held senior management and executive leadership positions within some of the country’s largest community services NGOs. He has particular specialism within the disability services and child protections sectors, and has developed and operated national education, employment, sport, social and recreational initiatives which created opportunities for thousands of young Australians living with a disability to access the mainstream opportunities enjoyed by their peers. To this end, Simon is passionate about ensuring that all people, regardless of their abilities, are empowered to fully participate and be included in opportunities which enable them to achieve their goals and aspirations.
Since 2006, Simon has been heavily involved in the roll out and implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme across Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and South Australia. His most recent role as Executive General Manager within a large national NGO saw him develop new and innovative approaches to supporting people under the NDIS, including those who are most at risk of experiencing marginalisation, isolation, exclusion or discrimination. He is committed to ensuring that community transport and volunteerism become recognised as key success enablers to NDIS by government and NDIS Participants alike.
Simon brings a wealth of experience to VSA, including particular focus on NFP governance, development of NGO Quality Management Systems, measurement of organisational outcomes and social impact, and on enhancing organisational service design and innovation frameworks using Human-Centred Design approaches.
Jo has been with Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. since 2008 and enjoys both the challenges and variety the organisation brings.
Jo joined the team as the Transport Services Coordinator and was responsible for overseeing the broad range of community Transport Services the organisation provides.
Jo broadened her understanding of the organisation when she took the role of Volunteering Services Manager in 2014, overseeing volunteer referrals and recruitment, as well as Workplace Health and Safety and office maintenance.
Due to a recent restructure, Jo is now responsible for the Transport Services division and Volunteering Services Australia. She his responsible for the delivery of all Transport Services and ensuring the Transport Consortium is appropriately resourced as well as ensuring Volunteering Services Australia services and volunteering programs are managed.
Nicole has worked in exhibitions, conferencing, events and marketing for over 18 years and has been lucky enough to experience many different aspects of the industry. The evolution of the digital world and the amazing advances it presented, along with many challenges, in particular the Global Financial Crisis.
Nicole has worked comprehensively across a vast array of industries and brands, in both the business and consumer sectors. She is highly experienced, passionate and driven. With an abundance of knowledge to manage a driven Marketing Team.
Jackie has extensive accounting, auditing and managerial experience. As being a qualified Accountant with a wealth of knowledge from the commercial sector, Jackie is able to significantly contribute to improving and monitoring internal financial controls, together with assisting the organisation achieve its strategic plans.
Jackie joined the team in early 2016 and ensures the department produces timely and accurate management information to enable past and current performance to be measured and future plans to be implemented.
Jackie has both an interest and personal experience in volunteering and community engagement and is keen to bring her commercial expertise in to the not-for-profit sector to maximise efficiencies and results.
The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO
The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce, former Governor General of Australia and former Governor of Queensland has accepted the role of the first Patron of the organisation.
In her role as Patron Dame Quentin supports Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.’s vital role in strengthening the community through the support and promotion of sustainable and equitable volunteering.
Dame Quentin has had a notable career as an academic, lawyer, community and human rights advocate, senior public officer, university college principal and vice-regal representative in Queensland and Australia.
In 2008, she was sworn in as Australia’s twenty-fifth Governor-General and was the first woman to take up this role.
Dawn Fraser AC MBE
Dawn Fraser is an Australian icon. Winning eight Olympic medals, including four gold medals, and six Commonwealth Games gold medals she also held 39 records with the 100 metres freestyle record hers for 15 years. Named Australian of the Year in 1964, Dawn was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1967, and recently appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2018.
In 2015 Dawn accepted the role of our Ambassador after her recognition of the extensive work we do in the volunteering sector. Her overall commitment to non-competitive sport has placed Dawn at the forefront of many volunteer involving events, which she passionately supports. Dawn epitomises the Australian spirit of tenacity and team work, something that we see every day in our army of dedicated volunteers.
Nick Scott has spent thirty seven years working in senior roles within the media; much of this time being based on the Gold Coast. He has held the positions of Director, Group General Manager, General Manager and National Sales Director. Nick has recently retired from his full time position with Southern Cross Austereo; operators on the Gold Coast of television brands Southern Cross Ten, 11 and One as well as broadcasting stations 90.9 Sea FM and 92.5 Gold FM. Nick owns and operates his own Business/Media Consultancy TGM; consulting to local, national and international organisations and presently sits on various local Boards including Bond (University) Business School, Gold Coast Tourism and Gold Coast Community Fund. ``I have long admired the work that Richard Patterson and his team perform and it was a pleasure to accept the invitation to become an Ambassador“.
Annabelle Stephenson has been working in Hollywood for the past 10 years. Her strong ties to the Gold Coast and love for people and community, was her deciding factor in moving back to her roots. Living in LA the Australian expat community is a cushion of support and comfort in a foreign country. Over Annabelle’s many years in the United States it became clear that Australian’s have an innate ability to connect with and help each other under any circumstances. This is an extremely powerful and heart-warming feeling to have when you are across an ocean from family and friends. Annabelle was presented with the opportunity to work on the Gold Coast, her home town, and was not surprised to be welcomed with that same spirit.
Annabelle has always believed that a sense of community is what binds humanity. ``Volunteering Services Australia is dedicated to strengthening the integral connection of the individual to the wider community by providing excellence in volunteering, transport services and business. I am proud to represent this wonderful organisation and its passion to unite and reach out to a helping hand for those who need it.`` Said Annabelle.
Peter established Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. within the operations of the Gold Coast-based disability organisation FSG. His intention was to ensure community organisations would have a service which recruited and supported volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations.
Peter has been a Board member since the organisation’s inception in 1998 and is the only Board member who has been with the organisation since it commenced. As a psychologist, Peter has been able to nurture the staff and the organisation to become thought leaders. In recognition of his contribution to Volunteering Gold Coast Inc., Peter was inducted as a Life Member in 2014.
Joy-Anne has more than 35 years’ experience in accounting, payroll and HR. A desire to spend more time with her family, particularly her grandchildren, prompted her retirement.
Inspired by her mother’s example of a lifetime of volunteering, Joy-Anne began donating her time to a youth group which continued for more than a decade.
In 2007, she commenced her association with Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. Serving as President from 2013 to 2016 Joy-Anne now serves on the Board in the capacity of Vice President.
Stephen has over 20 years’ experience acting for a wide variety of organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors both in Australia and overseas. Stephen is the Principal – Workplace Relations, for Macpherson Kelley.
Stephen specialises in providing high-level strategic and operational advice on industrial relations, litigation, insurance and the drafting and negotiation of common law contracts.
Josie has a long history of volunteering and fundraising. She currently volunteers her time with Beach Care, as the President of Somerset College Parents and Friends Association and assists their charity, The Somerset Literary Fund.
With a diverse career background in wealth management, insurance, media and medical practices, Josie has invaluable corporate experience including governance, business development, marketing and human resources.
Josie is proud to serve on the Board of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc., which she believes is a visionary and passionate organisation that makes a significant contribution to the local community.
Joshua joins the Board with a wealth of experience in the finance sector, as Group Financial Controller for Uni-Span group, and Senior Manager for Kern Group. He lends his expertise and guidance to the Board on various matters ensuring the success of our diversification.
A member of the Directors Institute and Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand, Joshua also holds a Bachelor of Business Management, Accounting and Business Management and Human Resources.
The late Pat Anderson completed almost 10 years’ service in the Transport Services division of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. before retiring in 2013. Working as a volunteer Administration Assistant for almost 5 years Pat was critical in the initial set up of Transport Services. For a further 5 years, she performed a paid Administration Officer role, while still continuing to volunteer on a regular basis. Pat and her faithful canine companion, Abby, were regarded as colourful characters in the establishment of the fabric of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. Her contribution towards establishing and maintaining systems at Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. is highly regarded and Pat was inducted as a Life Member for outstanding and meritorious service as both a paid and volunteer staff member of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.
John joined Volunteering Gold Coast Transport Services as a volunteer in 2003. His main role was a driver for the original Shopping Club service, and in the early days, he was joined by his wife Lorraine who would accompany him on the Thursday service to The Pines. Thanks to the outstanding work of John and his fellow drivers, the City of Gold Coast funded the service for a period of 10 years and during this time it was known as the Council Cab Service. John has been both loyal and flexible in his support of Transport Services and his ‘can do’ approach to driving has been a model for the vast number of drivers we have today. John was inducted as a Life Member for outstanding service as a volunteer staff member of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.
John Dennett commenced as a volunteer driver with Volunteering Gold Coast Transport Services in early 2004. John was a volunteer driver for the Shopping Club service in its early days and later, with the formation of the Transport Consortium, John joined the Anglicare team, transporting clients to centre based daycare. In more recent years John has been a driver for the Shared Transport service. John is one of a colourful group of drivers who epitomise the Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. values of having fun and ensuring our clients have fun too. John was inducted as a Life Member for outstanding service as a volunteer staff member of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.
Dorothy Williams OAM
Dorothy has been widely acclaimed in the Gold Coast community for her vision and foresight as the founder of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. Over the years, as the unofficial mother figure of the organisation, Dorothy has nurtured and supported countless staff and managers to ensure the entire team met the challenges of their community development roles. As the CEO of FSG Australia Dorothy established the fledgling volunteer resource centre which has now become the largest in the Australian volunteering sector. Dorothy was Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.’s inaugural President and her guidance and support for the Board of Directors and managers of the organisation are regarded as the forefront of community development. The legacy Dorothy has left the Gold Coast can be seen in the exceptional culture of our organisation today and she was inducted as a Life Member for outstanding service as a volunteer staff member of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.
Peter Mark was an inaugural member of the Management Committee of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. He has contributed more than 17 years of service including the Vice President role for many years and as recently appointed President. As the Gold Coast Home and Community Care (HACC) Area Manager, Peter’s support and ideas were critical in the establishment of Volunteering Gold Coast Transport Services. Peter’s capacity to understand organisational behaviour, the role of leadership in a dynamic organisation and establishing an inclusive culture have been crucial elements to Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. becoming a highly acclaimed business. Peter’s understanding of the need for community services has moulded a legacy which has reaped great rewards in both volunteering and transport. We recognise Peter with this induction as a Life Member for outstanding service as a volunteer staff member of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.
Anita was an inaugural member of the Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. Board of Directors and served in a range of capacities during her 16 years of service. Anita’s advocacy for community organisations ensured that there was always a voice for both our clients and our members in discussions of our present and future directions. As the Manager of Southern Gold Coast 60s and Better, Anita shaped Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. with a strong community focus ensuring we always remained with our roots planted in community ground. Her ability to respectfully question policies, procedures, systems and services meant that there was always a place at the table for growth and change in the organisation. Anita served until 2013 when she retired, and is recognised as a Life Member for her outstanding service as a volunteer staff member of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.
Jason’s period of leadership as President of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. enabled the organisation to enhance its community driven reputation, as we adopted strong business practices. Jason’s strength as a leader and his ability to encourage and galvanise the vision and energy of the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers led to a substantial increase in services to the community and a great improvement in the quality of services we provide. His period as President witnessed Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. win a cluster of regional, state and national business and not-for-profit excellence awards. His guardianship also saw Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. become Australia’s largest volunteer resource centre. The pinnacle of Jason’s period at the helm was his invitation to speak on Innovation, Leadership and Change at the 22nd International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) World Volunteer Conference in London in 2012. Jason is inducted as a Life Member for outstanding service as a volunteer staff member of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc.
The 2017 Annual General Meeting will celebrate Joy-Anne Fisher’s 10 year anniversary as a leader in the organisations’ team. Joy-Anne was appointed to the Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. Management Committee in October 2007. She continued her family’s support for the organisation. She was appointed as Treasurer in her second year on the committee, which commenced a long period of leadership roles that have seen her supporting Volunteering Gold Coast as the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Board Director and over recent times, as both a Chair and Deputy-Chair of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. During this time there have been great changes within our operations which were supported and driven by Joy-Anne’s leadership. Her dedication and expertise helped implement the introduction of the Finance Committee and changes to our policies, procedures and systems. Her drive to ensure we are all well managed financially has enabled quality premises, great vehicles for our clients, excellent office equipment and clothing for those in need.
Sandra Sutherland started at Volunteering Gold Coast in March 2006 as the Transport Services Administrator. Sandra was then successful in securing the role as VGC Transport Services Co-ordinator and soon after became the Volunteering Gold Coast Transport Manager. From when Sandra started through to her retirement in June 2017 she epitomised the notion of services to the community, the organisation and her team. Sandra has been instrumental in Volunteering Gold Coast’s Transport Services being the leading community transport operator in the country. It was Sandra’s commitment to transport clients that inspired and motivated Australia’s first community transport consortium. Much of the national recognition for our work is due to Sandra. There is no staff member who has made a greater contribution to the organisation than what Sandra has and she is loved and respected by everyone within the team and all who connected with her across the community.