Meet our Advisory Groups

The Advisory Groups have been established to ensure the perspectives and lived experiences of each community can be incorporated to help make the volunteering sector more inclusive.

The groups meet three times annually to contribute to resource development, understanding and breaking down barriers to volunteering, as well as other activities which aim to help build a vibrant and strong volunteering community in Victoria that is inclusive, respected, accessible, and sustainable.

Vision statements
A shared vision statement was developed by each Advisory group to help provide direction and a common sense of purpose. Members contributed their thoughts on words, phrases, and other ideas that helped inform the basis of the statements.

First Nations Peoples

A range of First Nations Peoples of Victoria from metro, rural, and regional areas.

“Our Vision is to empower and support First Nations volunteers in Victoria by embracing inclusivity, diversity, cultural safety, and compassion. We strive to create a supportive community of care where volunteering becomes a powerful tool for personal and professional growth which aims to leave lasting footprints on the future of volunteering.”

Rhiannon Hayes

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Rhiannon is a proud Gunai Bidwel woman. She is very family orientated with three kids, five sisters, and a tribe of nieces and nephews. Rhiannon loves her culture and enjoys learning more about lore and traditional ways [of her people] to hand down to her kids and the next generation.

Tom Conley

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Tom Conley (JP, MAICD) he/him/they/per is a proud but humble First Nations (Indigenous) and LGBTIQ+ community member, leader, entrepreneur, and Justice of the Peace (JP). He is one of the youngest and among only a handful of First Nations (Indigenous) Justices of the Peace within Victoria.

Tom is the founder, managing director and Chief Executive Officer at Not-for-Profit & Charity Community Consultants (NFPCCC) and Diverse Communities & Social Services (DCSS), both of which are national LGBTIQA+ and First Nations (Indigenous) not-for profits. His Aboriginal roots are from Wurundjeri of Naarm Land (Melbourne), Gadigal on Eora Land (Sydney), and Whadjuk Noongar (Perth).

Tom is dedicated to making real change and success in various and vast communities.

New Migrants

A range of newly arrived migrants to Australia who are  within five years of permanent residency settlement living in metro, rural, and regional Victoria.

“We envision a future where newly arrived migrants are empowered and supported through inclusive, diverse, and accessible volunteering opportunities that nurture personal growth and create positive impacts for the community.”

Julia Daly

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Julia migrated from the United States to Australia in 2016 and calls Melbourne home. She studied Business Management at La Trobe University and has volunteered and worked in operations, administration, and advocacy roles in the Alcohol and Other Drug Sector for seven years. Julia is passionate about helping people. In the US she was actively involved in volunteering with the National Honour Society, her Sorority Gamma Phi Beta, and Drug Law Reform Advocacy Campaigns. When she is not helping her community, you will usually find her with knitting needles in her hands.

Julia Rovery

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Julia is from Brazil and arrived in Australia three years ago. She is passionate about inclusion and social justice and has a degree in International Relations as well as a Masters in Migration and Intercultural Relations. Julia has lived in five countries and aims to follow her passions wherever they may take her! She currently resides in regional Victoria where she supports young people from multicultural backgrounds to have better lives in Australia.

Taylor Tran

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Thao (Taylor) has spent the last four years in Melbourne learning about her own identity and the barriers migrants, especially migrant women, face when settling in Australia. She is passionate and committed to co-designed programs that strengthen diverse and inclusive communities by inspiring migrants to be proud of their identities, be courageous with their goals, and surround themselves with great people. Outside of work and other commitments, Taylor could spend hours on a canvas pouring out her imagination using her favourite medium, acrylic paint.

People with Disability

A range of individuals with lived experience of disability from metro, rural, and regional areas of Victoria.

“Our Vision is to support, include, and empower volunteers with disability to grow as meaningful contributors by fostering a volunteer community where everyone is recognised, each voice is heard, and unique experiences are valued.”

Donna Chinca

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Donna has 46 years of lived experience with a psychosocial disability. This has inspired her passion for advocacy and supporting the marginalised. She strongly believes in reflecting on and sharing both negative and positive experiences to advise and assist others. She has an interest in authoring short stories and poetry and one day hopes to combine the two.

Evan Bichara

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Evangelos (Evan) has been a tireless mental health advocate with lived experience of mental illness. He completed a Diploma of Community Development at RMIT University and has held numerous volunteer roles in a variety of industries. He has thoroughly enjoyed his vocation in the sporting industry and has been a soccer player, coach, and referee for Soccer Australia. As an Advocate in mental health, Evan has been an Ambassador talking to schools, colleges, churches, and other social groups about his recovery of mental ill health.

Sue Walker

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Sue is a neurodiverse woman with three young adult sons and two fur babies. She is passionate about mental health advocacy and suicide prevention in her regional town. She loves bushwalking, kayaking, swimming laps, and yoga. You can find her gardening late into the evenings on her permaculture property.