Our Board

VA Board Feb 2017

The Volunteering Australia Board as confirmed at 27th February 2017: (from left) Angela Seach, Peter Lucas, Michelle Ewington, Megan Paull, Adrienne Picone (VA CEO), Valerie Hoogstad, Ross Morgan, Tim Jackson, Amit Jois and Mat Franklin.

  • Michelle Ewington


    Michelle joined the Board of Volunteering Australia in 2013 and was elected President in May 2018. Prior to this, Michelle was VA’s Vice-President from May 2015 – May 2018, with the role as Chair of VA’s Planning & Strategies Committee. Michelle has been an active contributor to the Board of Volunteering Tasmania for 8 years.  Michelle is the National Lead – Youth Engagement with Australian Red Cross and has extensive experience in management spanning  both the community service and corporate sectors.

  • Megan Paull

    Deputy President

    Megan joined the board of Volunteering Australia in 2017 and was elected as Deputy President in May 2018. She is also on the board of Volunteering Western Australia.

    Megan is a co-founder and director of the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability in the School of Business and Governance at Murdoch University in Western Australia.

    A long term researcher in the volunteering field, Megan has been a leader and driver of the Volunteering Research Committee at Volunteering WA since its inception in 2001, having been involved in its establishment.  Most recently she led a federal government funded project examining university student volunteering:  Volunteering to Learn.  Megan is also an active volunteer.

    Megan’s board experience ranges from local management committees associated with local playgroups when her children were young, through to membership of the board of Volunteer Task Force in Western Australia.

  • Mat Franklin

    Volunteering and Contact ACT

    Mat was elected chair of Volunteering and Contact ACT in 2015 following two years as the President of Contact Canberra. Mat was the executive director of a national engineering firm and had previously worked in technology and general management roles before joining the Public Service where he currently works as a senior executive with the National Disability Insurance Agency.

    He is a Harvard Business School Alumnus, holds a Master of Management, a Bachelor of Computer Science and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Additional board seats include an engineering firm and a fintech advisory role. Mat was appointed to the Board of Volunteering Australia in May 2016.

  • Valerie Hoogstad

    The Centre for Volunteering NSW

    Valerie has over 25 years of experience working in universities, both in academia and as a Director involved with International Education. Currently, Valerie is working part-time at Sydney University and as a consultant in Intercultural Communications. Valerie has a Masters degree in Education and is a Board member at Odyssey House. Valerie is the author of 16 textbooks related to literacy and business communications. 

    Valerie joined the Centre for Volunteering as a Board Member in 2004. She has been actively involved in all aspects of the Centre, including development of the school, sponsorship’s and referrals, and is currently the Chair of The Centre for Volunteering New South Wales.

  • Amit Jois

    Independent Director

    Amit was appointed as an independent director in May 2014 following a period of constructive engagement with Volunteering Australia.

    Amit is a lawyer in the Sydney office of a leading international law firm. He represents companies in a wide range of business transactions including mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures and counsels boards of directors and senior management on corporate governance matters and risk management.

  • Jamie Snashall

    Independent Director

    Jamie is a public policy, government relations, stakeholder engagement and media professional with more than 20 years’ experience across corporate Australia, consulting, the federal bureaucracy and as a political adviser at state and federal levels.

    A former political and media adviser to Julia Gillard, he is currently deputy head of government relations for Telstra and has particular expertise in heavily regulated industries such as telecommunications and health.

    He holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a BA Hons from the ANU.

  • Peter Lucas

    Independent Director

    Peter was elected to the Board of Volunteering Australia in 2014. He is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years of experience.

    He began his professional career in Sydney before moving to Queensland in 1989. Prior to commencing his own practice in 1999 Peter worked in a variety of firms in Brisbane including one of the “Big 4” Accounting Firms and also smaller boutique firms.

    Over the past 30 years Peter has provided significant advice to Directors of Companies and Corporations with financial difficulties, as well as those wanting to improve profitability and meet long-term goals for their businesses and organisations. With his experience in the insolvency field, Peter has developed the insight and skills required to quickly assess businesses requiring professional support and address the elements required for a successful, effective and fast turnaround, while ensuring strong corporate governance.

  • Angela Seach

    Volunteering Victoria

    Angela has worked in volunteer involving organisations since 2002 and currently works within the Organisational Development team of the Country Fire Authority in Victoria.  She is responsible for leadership development, culture, diversity and inclusion initiatives.

    Prior to her current role, Angela led the Organisational Wellbeing team within CFA. The team includes over 150 volunteer members as well as paid employees and is responsible for member psychological safety and wellbeing, and behaviour and relationship management. Following the devastating fires of 2009, Angela led the development and implementation of significant member wellbeing and recovery programs.

    With experience in both private and public sector organisations, Angela has worked in health, transport and insurance in generalist Human Resources Management roles as well as specialist roles including trauma response service, health & safety, and diversity.

  • Brett Williamson OAM

    Volunteering Queensland

    Brett joined the VA Board in October 2017, when he was elected as President of Volunteering Queensland. He has extensive and sustained involvement in leadership roles in the not-for-profit and charity sectors for over 40 years. He is a former CEO of Volunteering Australia, Surf Life Saving Australia and Surf Life Saving Queensland.

    Brett  has been a positive contributor to many state and federal government and industry reference groups, reviews, task forces and special project groups dealing with a broad range of not-for-profit, charity, sport, emergency management and volunteering related issues. Brett has been and remains a very active volunteer.

  • Karen Buenger

    Volunteering SA&NT

    Karen was elected to the Volunteering Australia Board in May 2018, and has been serving on the Volunteering SA&NT Board since 2009. She has previously served as President on the Australasian Association for Managers of Volunteers (AAMoV) board. Karen has over 15 years of experience in many different fields of volunteer management, including Aged Care, Local Government and Health sectors. Karen’s passion for supporting volunteer managers has been a strong vision. She currently works for Better Impact Australia supporting organisations to better manage their volunteers. Karen has an Advanced Diploma in Volunteer Management and holds other management, training and design qualifications.