State Conference

On 22-23 June 2017, we were delighted to host nearly 300 delegates and over 70 speakers to our inaugural State Conference – the only Conference in Victoria focused specifically on volunteering and designed to attract both the leaders and managers of volunteers, as well as volunteers themselves.

With the goal to challenge, inspire and empower, the multi-streamed conference agenda covered topics related to the theme – The Power of Association – and incorporated a diverse meeting format including a debate, fireside chat, research roundtable, lightning talks and more.  It was indeed a busy two days!


One of the goals of the Volunteering Victoria State Conference was to ensure that the learnings from the two day event helped to propel the sector forward. To do this, we have documented the proceedings in a number of ways as a reference for future work.

Conference Communique

Thank you to everyone who participated in the final session of the Conference Ideas into Action.  After a busy two days, it was a good opportunity to capture the significant learnings and directions arising out of the Conference which have now been incorporated into the Conference Communique.

Download the full Conference Communique.

Big Ideas Board

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Bid Ideas Board!  We had a great response.  In addition to incorporating your Big Ideas into the Conference Communique, we are also looking to incorporate them into future program development, where possible.

Program & Presenters

The Conference formats encouraged audience participation utilising a variety of contemporary presentation formats that involved and engaged Conference participants.

Download the full conference program here.

Plenary Sessions

Traditional plenary sessions kicked off the Conference as our keynote speakers established a framework for the Conference themes.

Panel Discussions

A moderated public conversation addressed the Conference themes. The panellists took different perspectives and offered their thoughts and solutions to a common sector problem or issue. Delegates were invited to submit questions to the panel before and during the session. This format encouraged insightful discussion, fresh thinking and unique perspectives.

Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks provided quick, insightful snapshots of current and emerging ideas and issues.

Facilitated Presentations

These sessions allowed for a more in-depth exploration of the ideas presented. Formats included Campfire Sessions and Storytelling (see below for more information).

Ideas into Action

This session summarised the great ideas explored throughout the Conference program and ways we could action the ideas when we left to go back to our day-to-day roles. It was an important session that recognised the great ideas posted on the Big Ideas Board.

Fireside Chat

The Fireside Chat began with the presentation of an idea to a group, which then took the idea, in an open forum, and ran with it. The group drove its own learning, taking on multiple perspectives on the same issue.


Storytelling is an ancient art that makes for an engaging workshop format. Stories reflect the authentic experience of an individual, a team, or a community and are very persuasive and generate greater recall post the event.

Brain Dates (Optional)

An optional activity, the Brain Dates session was a facilitated networking opportunity which matched delegates to discuss a topic of interest.

Research Round-table

Short presentations by researchers exploring the results of academic studies and their applicability to the sector.

Poster Presentations

The Poster Presentations were a great visual representations of ideas, programs, services, research findings that your peers within the volunteering sector had been working on.