2023 National Volunteering Conference
Plenary Session Speakers
Plenary 1: Launch of the new National Strategy for Volunteering
Chair: Mark Pearce
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.
Presenter: Sarah Wilson
National Strategy Director
Sarah is an alumna of the Australian National University, holding a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences. Sarah is an avid Los Angeles Lakers Fan, has an unhealthy obsession with her rescue greyhound George, and (travel permitting) spends her free time diving with sharks.
Sarah is an expert in volunteer involvement and volunteer management, formerly serving as Policy Manager for VolunteeringACT for nearly a decade. Throughout her time with VolunteeringACT Sarah played an instrumental role in delivering projects of local and national significance. Sarah is a passionate volunteer, as the President of the Youth Coalition of the ACT, a Telephone Crisis Supporter for Lifeline Canberra, and as a Research and Policy Volunteer for the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds.
Chair, NSV Council
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.
Professor Melenie Oppenheimer
Professor Emerita, Australian National University
Chair, NSV Research Working Group
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).
Non-Executive Director, Rotary International
Chair, NSV Volunteer Management Working Group
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.
Manager, External Relations, Pfizer
Chair, NSV Corporate Volunteering Working Group
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.
Plenary 2: Changing landscape, changing climate, changing attitudes: the evolution of emergency volunteering
Plenary 3: Reimagining volunteering across the ecosystem: learning from, and collaborating with, each other
Plenary 4: The International Context
Plenary 5: Volunteering for the common good: the future of charities and the not-for-profit sector
Plenary 6: The Future is Now, so what next?
Concurrent Sessions Stream Speakers
A. EVIDENCE & PRACTICE
A1 & A2: Informal Volunteering Symposium
A3: The Volunteering in Australia research – what’s next?
A4: The evolution of sport volunteering – learning from evidence and practice
A5: International volunteering lessons
Please note: The conference program and sessions are subject to change.