Presentations & Workshops

Conference presentations will be categorised into 3 main streams: Explorers, Builders, and Shapers.
This enables you to select breakout sessions based on your level of experience.

Note: These are only provided as suggestions. You may choose any stream that interests you – or try more than one!


For those newer to volunteering, from inside or outside the sector, wanting to explore the environment of volunteer leadership.

This stream contains content at a foundational level.


For intermediate leaders and thinkers, looking to build volunteer programs through innovation and systemic change.

This stream contains content at a more advanced level.


For experienced leaders and thinkers, with a relational and cross-sectoral focus, wanting to shape the future of volunteering.

This stream contains content at a strategic level.


A tailored online stream, which will be broadcast to online and regional hub attendees. This is also an option for in-person (Melbourne) attendees.

This stream contains content at a broad level.

Melbourne attendees can choose from all 4 concurrent breakout sessions in each timeslot, including the session being streamed online.
Online & regional hub attendees will have access to the dedicated online stream only (★ Streamers).

Day 1: Morning session


Format: Multi-presenter

How to Talk to Your CEO about Volunteer Involvement

Lachlan Preston – Ardoch
This session will help prepare volunteer coordinators for having bold conversations with senior leaders. Learn how to help them see the potential of volunteer involvement and gain their buy in to shake up their organisation and achieve social change through enhanced volunteer involvement.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): How Victoria is Leading the Way

Sara Sterling – Volunteering Victoria, Herman Tse & Kohyar Kiazed – Monash University
This session will provide an overview of the recent evaluation of Volunteering Victoria’s CPD program, in partnership with researchers from Monash University Business School. The findings provide a profound understanding of how to enhance the effectiveness of future CPD programs, and in turn, better equip volunteer managers to excel in their roles.


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Marg Joiner

Build It and They Will Come: Volunteering Pathway for High School Students

Sharon Walsh – Bendigo Health
Learn about the process undertaken to build a school holiday volunteering program that has engaged our students, local schools and staff, which offers students a complete pathway to acceptance at a major university.

Yeah, but how? Creating the Structures to Engage Young Volunteers AND Have Impact

Willem Booker – Communiteer
We all know what we ‘should’ do when it comes to engaging young people in volunteering. Flexibility and opportunities to lead and grow are important. But how do you do this in practice? In this session, we’ll explore case studies and structural advice on how to DO the program development and design that will allow new ways to volunteer.


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Rebecca Miller – SEEK Volunteer

Beyond Transactional Volunteering

Ellen Kimball & Donna Stephens – Community First Development
Using examples of our own work in volunteer engagement, this session will explore how embedding organisational values and purpose throughout every step of a volunteer program can significantly impact not only the communities we work alongside, but the lives of volunteers.

Reimagining the Volunteer Engagement Cycle

Tracey O’Neill – Brotherhood of St Laurence
The often-cited Volunteer Engagement Cycle is outdated and can limit our ability to successfully engage volunteers. In this session, we will explore a reimagined Volunteer Engagement Cycle – one that supports thinking strategically, that helps us achieve the outcomes volunteers are seeking, and that can lead to increased impact.


Format: Workshop
Presenter: Ross Wyatt – Think Impact
Session MC: Jessica Zammitt – Volunteering Victoria

Everyone In! The Revolution in Volunteerism for a Post-Colonial World

Ross Wyatt – Think Impact
The ‘colonial’ foundations on which volunteerism-as-we-know-it is built are no longer fit for purpose! Given the structural changes around us – compliance, ageing volunteer profile, risk management, individualism, time availability, virtual community, etc – it is time to reimagine volunteerism for the future. Learn how to apply ‘participation continuum thinking’ and see how it is being applied in real life.

Day 1: Afternoon session


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Tanya Di Michele – Volunteering Victoria

Enabling New Ways of Volunteering and Engaging the Next Generation

Liam Higgins – VOLI
At VOLI, we are building software to support a new era of volunteering and a brand that helps engage the next generation. From gamified mobile applications to free to use volunteer management software and various AI functions, we are building the tools to support a new way of giving back.

Bridging Generations Through Seamless Video Connectivity

Kristen Graham – Dossy
Discover Dossy, an innovative video-calling app designed to effortlessly connect families with their elderly loved ones. Building upon the success of Dossy Family Connect, we proudly introduce the second phase of the Dossy Project: Dossy Community Connect. This exciting expansion brings together a network of older adults and verified volunteers, enhancing social connectivity in a world where isolation among seniors is a growing concern.


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Helen More – Downs Syndrome Victoria

Learnings for the Volunteering Sector from the 'Yes' Campaign

Lachlan Preston – Macnamara for Yes
 In this presentation, Lachlan will reflect on his experience as a volunteer leader for the ‘Yes’ campaign, including how the volunteering sector can better highlight the immense and valuable skillsets of leaders of volunteers, and the importance of these skills for future social change campaigns.

Bold Political Change: SupporterBase and the 'Teals'

Dale Clisby – SupporterBase
In this presentation, Dale will provide a broad introduction to the difference between mobilising and organising volunteers, how SupporterBase helped the Teals organise for success, and how anyone who manages volunteers can use these principles to improve their own processes and empower volunteers to achieve bold and transformational change.


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Gillian Garner – Volunteering Victoria

National Strategy for Volunteering: The First Three-Year Action Plan

Sarah Wilson – Volunteering Australia
This session will present the latest findings of the National Strategy for Volunteering, including the upcoming Three-Year Action Plan and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. These detail how volunteers, managers of volunteers and other roles across the volunteering ecosystem can contribute to the National Strategy and use it to create positive change and strengthen their volunteering outcomes.

Sport Volunteer Action Plan: From Strategy to Action

Matthew Calf – Australian Sport Commission
Bold change requires a bold approach. This presentation will demonstrate how to turn strategy into action. Delegates will learn how Government/Industry partnerships have been activated to transform the sport volunteering experience. Using case studies, this presentation will teach delegates how collaboration, creativity, and shared purpose can be harnessed to create real impact for volunteers.


Format: Workshop
Presenter: Christine Stankowski – Flutterbye
Session MC: Hazel Maynard – Volunteering Victoria

Top 10 Tips for Making Your Organisation Attractive to Volunteers

In this session, Christine will be exploring ten practical ways your organisation can become more attractive to potential and current volunteers. Participants at this workshop will be asked to examine their current practices and will come away with actions they can implement.

Day 2: Morning session


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Eva Hussain – Polaron

Pathways to Volunteering for Migrant and Refugee Women

Robyn Erwin – Wellsprings for Women
Winner: 2023 Inclusive Volunteering Award

This presentation will challenge volunteer managers to build richer, diverse and resilient volunteer teams by engaging women from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Members of Wellsprings for Women’s co-design team will share experiences of their challenges, barriers and how volunteering has empowered them to build fulfilling lives.

Capturing Knowledge to Drive Inclusive Practice: Co-design with CALD Groups

Jack Fawcett – Volunteer West & Anish Varghese – AfriAus Care
Drawing on AMCS / Volunteer West’s recent collaboration with Victoria University, this presentation will focus on the knowledge gained from working with CALD groups in a co-design context, as well as the benefits of working with academia and how it can drive lasting change.

Do Things Differently: From Informal to Formal Volunteering in Migrant Communities

Alistair Shaw – Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre
Newly arrived migrants are typically underrepresented in formal volunteer numbers and many established volunteer programs lament a lack of diversity. But the ‘same same’ approach isn’t working and we need to shake it up! This presentation will explore how we can use a cultural lens, activate a space to serve community needs, and combine what we know about best practice volunteer management and community development in new migrant communities to achieve our goals.


Format: Workshop
Sarah Wilson – Volunteering Australia
Session MC: Hazel Maynard – Volunteering Victoria

The Power of Purpose: How Volunteering Fuels Mattering

In this dynamic session, we will delve into the profound connection between volunteering and ‘mattering’: the sense of feeling significant to and valued by others. Drawing on findings from world-first qualitative research you’ll learn how volunteering creates mattering and how you can embed mattering in your volunteering programs, workplaces, and lives to unlock the true potential of what it means to be human.


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Rory Sackville – Good2Give

Why as a CEO I’m Seeking to Become a Volunteering Organisation

Lisa Jones – Ardoch
In this presentation, Ardoch CEO, Lisa Jones, will outline why as an organisational leader she sees the value of embedding volunteering throughout the organisation to achieve maximum purpose. Lisa will discuss some of the steps Ardoch is already taking to increase and redefine volunteer involvement, and the unique role senior leaders play in leading cultural change for embedding volunteer involvement in new ways.

Given The Chance: Corporate Volunteering Partnerships

Brianne Keogh – ANZ
Part of the ANZ corporate volunteering program, Given the Chance provides refugees and asylum seekers work experience to help them obtain meaningful employment in the Australian workforce, with ANZ staff given the opportunity to become participant mentors. This presentation will be a panel discussion between the ANZ Program Lead, an ANZ Mentor, and Brotherhood of St Laurence Program Lead. The panel will discuss what a good volunteering partnership looks like and how it benefits both the community and employees.


Format: Workshop
Presenter: Deb Porter – NFP Law (Justice Connect)
Session MC: Jenna Chia

Diversity in Volunteering: Using the Law to Support Best Practice

As lawyers, we see some tricky issues arise around discrimination, safety, screening and privacy law when organisations seek to embed diversity in their volunteer recruitment plan. Our challenge then is to use the law to support diversity. This workshop will use practical case studies to highlight the kinds of legal issues your organisation needs to consider to confidently build and grow a diverse and strong volunteer workforce.

Day 2: Afternoon session


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Helen More – Down Syndrome Victoria

Dare to be Different

Julia Roache – Our Village (formerly St Kilda Mums)
This session will look back at a decade of bold volunteering choices at St Kilda Mums; a grassroots, volunteer-driven organisation. We will look at the hits and misses, and why we are once again shaking things up with a new 3 year Volunteering Roadmap. Learn more about the key components to our successful volunteering program, and how we’ve adapted to the hurdles we have faced along the way.

Transformative Growth: Developing New Roles to Expand Your Volunteer Program

Emily Scott – Kids First
This session will offer practical tips and suggestions for those who are new to the sector and are looking to expand, grow and diversify the types of volunteer roles in their organisation. This will include the benefit of consulting and building relationships widely across the organisation, raising the profile of your volunteer program, and ideas for championing your volunteers internally.

The Power of Engagement vs Management

Alida Williams – Family Life
With our Op Shop volunteer program decimated through lockdowns, Family Life needed a BOLD CHANGE in order to rebuild. To better engage volunteers in the current landscape, we had to understand our audience, understand their motivations, connect and respond. This session will outline how we created a volunteer experience that nourished those motivations, strengthened that connection to our purpose, and that attracted others to join in this exciting dynamic.


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Vittoria Tonin – Volunteering Victoria

Can Storytelling Inspire Younger People to Volunteer?

Rosemary Joiner – Federation Uni
As the face of volunteering changes across generations and into the future, we know that volunteering organisations and communities are adapting to encourage young people to consider volunteering. But could young people better understand what volunteering can look like and the impact it can have on individuals and communities? This session will explore the role storytelling can play in inspiring younger people to take up volunteering.

Empowering the Next Generation: Youth Needs, Volunteerism, and School Priorities

Johanna Leitch – Awards Victoria
In this presentation, we delve into the dynamic interplay between the needs of today’s youth, the realm of volunteerism, and the imperatives of educational institutions. Drawing from extensive research and practical experience, we explore how volunteering organisations can effectively engage and attract young people as volunteers. Additionally, we examine the pivotal role of volunteering in addressing the well-being priorities of schools, from the perspective of someone deeply immersed in both the education and volunteering sectors.


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Marg Joiner

Missing Voices: Repositioning Volunteer Engagement as a Powerful Community Engagement Strategy

Tracey O’Neill – Brotherhood of St Laurence
This presentation will explore how centring community can support better volunteer engagement and, ultimately, better outcomes. Together, let’s explore the possibilities of how we can shift our relationship with volunteers and the way we position our programs to create transformational change and a much broader impact on our organisations’ outcomes.

Growing the National Volunteer Pool with Cross-Sector Collaboration

Victor Lee – Communiteer
The face of volunteering is changing in a complex modern world. This requires the sector to rethink how volunteering fits into civic life and collaborate across the system to align diverse interests in order to grow our national volunteer pool. During this presentation, Communiteer’s CEO Victor Lee, will delve into his experience building these cross-sector relationships, the common misalignments and miscommunications, and the potential that can be unlocked for Australian communities.


Format: Multi-presenter
Session MC: Liam Higgins – VOLI

Shaking It Up On All Sides: Navigating for a Future Volunteer Workforce

Viv Cunningham-Smith – EV Strengthening Communities
Place-based navigation services are essential for engaging and sustaining our future volunteer workforce. But successful navigation is more than just finding an opportunity. This session will explore how to optimally match opportunities with volunteer expectations, engaging those who face barriers to volunteering, and recommendations for bold and creative thinking moving forward.

Empowering Your Community Group to Go Boldly Into The Future

Lisa Hester – South East Volunteers
Bold change is all about challenging the old paradigm. This session will guide you through techniques to understand your unique serving proposition, how to sell your story to reach more people, and strategies for delivering an experience that the community relates to. You’ll come away with a toolkit to support you in making bold moves and feeling confident with approaching volunteering in a different way.

Bonus session:

Format: Yarning Circle
Session MC: Sara Sterling – Volunteering Victoria

Yarning Circle: Fostering Cultural Inclusion in Volunteering

Tom Conley & Ricki Spencer – Volunteering Victoria First Nations Advisory Group
As part of Volunteering Victoria’s commitment to reconciliation and holding space for First Nations peoples, members of the Volunteering Victoria First Nations Advisory group will facilitate a yarning circle to focus on how volunteer programs can be more culturally safe and inclusive. Participants will have an opportunity share stories about embedding First Nations culture and practices into volunteer programs.