During the Council's term from 2015-2018, members included people from emergency services, health, sport, disability, arts and culture, conservation, youth, ageing, diversity, education and the community services sector.

Members were appointed as individuals and were selected for their breadth of experience covering a wide range of volunteering interests and perspectives
Ms Gabrielle Williams MP (Chair)

Gabrielle was elected as the Member for Dandenong at the 2014 Victorian election, and in December 2014, she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers.

Gabrielle completed a BA/LLB(Hons) at Monash University, going on to practice as a solicitor in a large Melbourne law firm. She has also worked as an adviser in both state and federal government, and served as a director of a not-for-profit disability sport organisation. Most recently Gabrielle worked as Project Manager in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at The University of Melbourne.

Gabrielle is a passionate advocate for equity and social inclusion and hopes to put this passion to good use in her role as Parliamentary Secretary.

Mr Simon Abrahams

Since joining Melbourne Fringe as Chief Executive Officer in April 2015, Simon’s achievements include:

Delivery of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival, with the support of 250 volunteers, resulting in the highest grossing box office in the organisation’s history

  • Quadrupling philanthropic support
  • Realigning the vision and purpose of the organisation to maximise participation.
  • He has extensive experience as a strategic arts executive in volunteer-involving organisations. This includes Head of Programming at The Wheeler Centre and Executive Producer and Co-CEO of Polyglot Theatre.

Simon has a strong background in cultivating, mobilising and managing stakeholder relationships with government, business, philanthropic bodies and individual donors.

Ms Sherry Balcombe

Sherry brings to the council a deep and lived knowledge and understanding of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and issues. She has spent many years volunteering in Aboriginal community service organisations.

Sherry has a strong background in welfare and community, working in foster care, Aboriginal family group homes and Aboriginal hostels for the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) for 6 years. She has also been the Coordinator of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria (ACMV) for the past 18 months and has been employed with ACMV for 14 years.

In her current work with ACMV, she provides outreach pastoral work within the Aboriginal communities. She also works with community volunteers to ensure a positive and vibrant future for the Aboriginal community members.

Ms Helen Coleman

As former deputy mayor, two time former Mayor of Nillumbik Shire Council, and former councillor since 2004, Helen has a wealth of community experience. In addition to this, she has professional experience as a volunteer resource officer.

Her work with council involved interaction with volunteers from all areas of the community, including those serving on council advisory committees. Helen has a particular interest in spontaneous emergency volunteering, due to the impact of the Black Saturday bushfires on Nillumbik.

Helen has experience working with the private and not-for-profit sectors and all levels of government. She brings skills in community strengthening, advocacy, networking, development of local partnerships, administration, public speaking and project management.

Ms Karen Dimmock

Karen is Business Services Manager, Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY). The lead agency delivering the Youth Referral and Independent Persons Program, CMY also supports 1000 homework club volunteers across Victoria. It involves young people as volunteers in a range of leadership activities.

Karen has extensive volunteering experience and knowledge of the sector. As Community Involvement Manager, Conservation Volunteers Australia, she managed 10,000 volunteer days per year and numerous corporate volunteer programs. She was General Manager, Volunteer West for 2 years where she developed a program to support organisations to engage refugee and migrant volunteers. Karen is also an experienced foster carer.

Mr Daniel Leighton

Daniel is the former Chief Executive Officer of Inclusion Melbourne, a leading disability support provider, that supports the inclusion of people with and without a disability as volunteers. The organisation supports over 250 people with and without a disability to be volunteers, contributing their skills to the broader community.

Through its Inclusion Designlab, they also develop resources and guides to support the inclusion of people with an intellectual disability and they are currently developing a curriculum for the Certificate 2 in Active Volunteering, that can be completed by people of low or no literacy.

Since 2013, Daniel has been Chairman of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, one of Australia’s largest philanthropic organisations. He also serves as a member of the Intellectual Disability Reference Group of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Ms Kylie Lewis

For the last 10 years Kylie has volunteered her time improve services for young people diagnosed with cancer. Most recently, she has co-chaired the Victorian and Tasmanian Youth Cancer Advisory Board (YCAB). YCAB works alongside ONTrac at Peter Mac and provides strategic advice to other organisations and the Victorian Government.

As a part of YCAB, Kylie has contributed to the development of curriculum for the Certificate of Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, Oncology at the University of Melbourne. She has also helped develop resources and inpatient spaces for young people diagnosed with cancer. Kylie is a consumer representative on the Minister of Health, Patient Safety Advisor.

Ms Angela Malan

Angela is Director, Membership and Leadership Development, Life Saving Victoria (LSV) and President of Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club.

With 30,000 members across the state, LSV is a diverse, continuously evolving organisation, which works closely with the emergency management, sporting, business, community and government sectors.

In addition to 10 years volunteering with LSV, Angela brings 25 years of community and volunteering experience in education, health and other sporting organisations. She has worked across metro and rural areas, with people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and cultures. Angela has also represented volunteer interests at state and national level.

Ms Gail McHardy

Gail first started volunteering at the age of 15 with fund-raising for the Salvation Army. Volunteering at her daughter's school Parent Club led to her becoming one of Victoria's prominent advocates for parents of students in Victorian Government schools.

Gail is currently the Executive Officer of the state-wide peak public school parent body, Parents Victoria, which supports parents to have a voice on issues affecting their children's education. Through this role, Gail continues to motivate and recognise the thousands of parents who volunteer at their local Victorian Government school.

Mr Elsie Mutton

Elsie is the former President of the University of the Third Age (U3A) Network, and a committee member since 1998. She is course administrator of Nunawading U3A, overseeing the activities of 150 volunteer class leaders. These volunteers deliver content to 2000 members, one third of whom are born overseas.

With around 35,000 members, U3A is one of the largest, entirely volunteer-managed organisations in Victoria. Elsie’s varied U3A roles have included:

  • Strategic planning
  • Policy development
  • Creation of networks to facilitate professional development of office bearers across the state.
  • Elsie has presented at international U3A conferences in France, India and Singapore
Ms Simone Power

Simone brings 15 years experience in communications, marketing, PR, fundraising and management from her former role as Senior Manager, Volunteer Services, Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL). At BSL she managed 1100 volunteers across 40 programs and services. While managing the day-to-day operations of the unit, she developed and implemented a flagship volunteering model based on BSL’s community engagement principles.

Simone has extensive experience with diverse stakeholders including all levels of Government, peak bodies, businesses, supporters, clients and individual volunteers.

Simone is a member of the Volunteering Victoria advisory group focussed on the development and engagement of skilled corporate volunteering in Victoria.

Ms Gail Rodgers

As Manager of Volunteering Geelong, from 2007 to 2015, and Chairperson of the Victorian Volunteer Support Network in 2015, Gail has extensive knowledge of the volunteering sector.

In December 2015, Gail was appointed to the positon of Chief Executive Officer of the Geelong Community Foundation.

A community engagement specialist with 17 years experience building alliances between the business, community, education and government sectors, she has an excellent understanding of mechanisms required to leverage unique and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Gail's achievements include:

  • Development of a best practice volunteer management program, resulting in compliance with the national standards for over 80 community organisations
  • Development and implementation of a volunteer mentor program to support people with a disability to become volunteers.
Mr David Rowlands

A member of Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) since 1995, David has extensive volunteer experience responding to emergencies including major, multi-day operational events, both interstate and locally. He has acted in diverse roles such as incident controller, staging area, manager and field crew leader.

David is currently Section Leader, Finance for the Whitehorse Unit. He is also Vice Chair of the Victorian Emergency Service Association (VESA), established in 1983 to represent the views of VICSES volunteers.

David is also the Victorian Members Representative on the National State Emergency Service Volunteers Association (NSESVA). He has been a member of the Emergency Management Victoria’s (EMV) Volunteer Consultative Forum (VCF) since its inception

Ms Kate Torney

As Chief Executive Officer of State Library Victoria, Kate and her team lead a volunteer base of over 90 people. These volunteers donate their time and skills to the library to support a range of front-of-house and behind-the-scenes activities. This includes leading library tours, helping run community and family programs and assisting with collection preservation.

Kate has been an active volunteer in her local community through school and sporting groups, and as a former volunteer and board member at the Collingwood Children’s Farm. In previous roles Kate was Director of News at the ABC and head of the Asia Pacific News Centre.

Ms Zoe Waters

As Director, Volunteer Services, Barwon Health since 2013, Zoe’s achievements include:

Successfully rebranding the 1000 member volunteer program, which provides 88,000 hours of annual service and is the region’s largest and most well recognised volunteer service
Establishing ongoing community partnerships with organisations like Rotary, to fund the Patient Transport Service.
Working full-time in the volunteer sector since 2006, Zoe was previously National Community Engagement Manager for Save the Children. She also worked within Volunteer Services for Mind Australia.

Zoe was awarded the 2014 NAB Young Business Women of the Year and was a Telstra Women in Business Finalist in 2015. She is particularly passionate about promoting and developing the leadership capabilities of Volunteer Managers.

Zoe was also responsible for launching Australia’s first Leadership in Health Volunteering Conference in August 2015.

Mr Paul Wheelton AM KSJ

After a successful business career, Paul now spends 80 percent of his time in the not-for-profit sector. He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2009, for services to children through a range of children's charities.

Paul is a Board Member of the Blue Ribbon Foundation Day where volunteers play an integral role in managing and implementing fundraising events across Victoria. He contributes on a number of boards and committees and regularly advises not-for-profits on board structure and fundraising. He also spends considerable time promoting philanthropy.

Mr Walter Villagonzalo

Walter has over 20 years experience as a community volunteer and was actively involved in a number of organisations especially within the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD). He has experience in government advisory councils on CALD issues including the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Victorian Electoral Commission. He was elected as a Wyndham City Councillor in 2016 and was a recipient of many volunteer awards including the Citizen of the Year awards for Wyndham in 2015.

He founded the Migrant Hub, a community cafe run by a team of CALD volunteers, which aims to assist newly arrived migrants integrate better and become more active citizens of their local community. He initiated and is currently implementing Blockhouse Inc’s WynCUBATOR which help create a stronger community and a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Wyndham.

Walter through the WynCUBATOR is currently mentoring and incubating several small businesses including a Restoration and Print hubs for the community. These projects host 120 Work for the Dole participants to support start-up small businesses and community organisations and create new skills for participants and use their skills and work experience. Walter was Australia’s Social Enterprise Champion for 2016.