Our Team

The people who make everything possible

Patron

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce
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Volunteering Gold Coast is lucky to have The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce, former Governor General of Australia and former Governor of Queensland, as the first Patron of the organisation.

In her role as Patron Dame Quentin supports Volunteering Gold Coast’s vital role in strengthening the community through the support and promotion of sustainable and equitable volunteering.

Dame Quentin has had a notable career as an academic, lawyer, community and human rights advocate, senior public officer, university college principal and vice-regal representative in Queensland and Australia.

In 2008, she was sworn in as Australia’s twenty-fifth Governor-General and was the first woman to take up this role.

“I am not going to waste any opportunity that comes to me, to bring about change, to make a difference, and there are very many ways to do that.”

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce
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Ambassadors

Nick Scott

Nick Scott has spent over thirty seven years working in senior roles within the media; much of this time being based on the Gold Coast.

He has held the positions of Director, Group General Manager, General Manager and National Sales Director.

Nick has recently retired from his full time position with Southern Cross Austereo; operators on the Gold Coast of television brands Southern Cross Ten, 11 and One as well as broadcasting stations Hit90.9 Gold Coast and 92.5 Triple M Gold Coast.

Nick owns and operates his own Business & Media Consultancy TGM; consulting to local, national and international organisations and presently sits on various local Boards including Bond (University) Business School, Destination Gold Coast and Gold Coast Community Fund.

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Dawn Fraser AC MBE

Dawn Fraser is an Australian icon. Winning eight Olympic medals, including four gold medals, and six Commonwealth Games gold medals she also held 39 records with the 100 metres freestyle record hers for 15 years. Named Australian of the Year in 1964, Dawn was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1967, and was recently appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2018.

In 2015 Dawn accepted the role of our Ambassador after her recognition of the extensive work we do in the volunteering sector. Her overall commitment to non-competitive sport has placed Dawn at the forefront of many events utilising volunteers, which she passionately supports. Dawn epitomises the Australian spirit of tenacity and team work., something that we see everyday in our army of dedicated volunteers.

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Annabelle Stephenson

Annabelle Stephenson has been working in Hollywood for the past 10 years and more recently starring in Home and Away. Her strong ties to the Gold Coast and love for people and community, was her deciding factor in moving back to her roots.

Annabelle has always believed that a sense of community is what binds humanity.

“Volunteering Gold Coast is dedicated to strengthening the integral connection of the individual to the wider community by providing excellence in volunteering, transport services and business. I am proud to represent this wonderful organisation and its passion to unite and reach out to a helping hand for those who need it.” Said Annabelle.

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Board Members

Josie Kay

Chair

Josie was appointed as a volunteer Board Director in 2014 and has decades of corporate experience working in leadership roles within the public service, medical practices, personal finance, insurance, and superannuation. She also produced and hosted a national talkback radio show “Money Matters” for 5 years.

Josie is a prolific volunteer having been involved in a number of not-for-profits, charities, and community groups, with specialties spanning children’s literacy, school communities, and the environment. Josie thrives in challenging environments and is very proud to be contributing to this extraordinary charitable organisation, along with a team of approximately 300 passionate and kind individuals who are making an extraordinary social impact within the local community and beyond.

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Peter Mark

Board Director

Peter established Volunteering Gold Coast within the Gold Coast-based disability organisation FSG. He wanted to ensure community organisations had a service which recruited and supported volunteers and volunteer organisations.

Peter has been a Board member since the organisation’s inception in 1998.

In recognition of his contribution to Volunteering Gold Coast Peter was inducted as a Life Member in 2014.

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Joy-Anne Fisher

Deputy Chair

Joy-Anne has more than 35 years’ experience in accounting, payroll and HR. Inspired by her mother’s example of a lifetime of volunteering, Joy-Anne began donating her time to a youth group which continued for more than a decade.

In 2007, she commenced her association with Volunteering Gold Coast. Serving as President from 2013 to 2016, Joy-Anne now serves on the Board in the capacity of Vice President. She was made a Life Member in 2017.

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Alex Woodthorpe

Treasurer

Alex is a successful strategic advisor, certified Advisory Board Chair, and experienced CEO. Previously as an Executive Chairman within Asia Pacific. Alex expertise lies in global capital markets and investment banking. Specialising in growth focused new markets, as well as change and crisis management.

While in Asia, Alex developed opportunities for less privileged children. His community work focused on the well-being and education of children. Alex has sat on the Board of numerous international schools including the Board of Kellett School, The British International School in Hong Kong, as well as Chairman of the Development Committee. Alex’s entrepreneurial nature allowed him to develop scholarships and bursaries for people who wouldn’t ordinarily have access to the opportunity.

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Ben Naday

Board Director

Ben is a proud Gold Coast volunteer, having been a firefighter in the Tallebudgera Valley Rural Fire Brigade for well over a decade, where he is the First Officer and also sits on the Gold Coast Local Area Finance Committee. He has also received the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service Medal for his diligent and ethical service.

In 2010 the Gold Coast City Council recognised him for his community work, naming him “Gold Coast Young Citizen of the Year”.

Ben previously worked as a registered migration agent, helping local businesses and individuals across the country with their migration issues and journeys. He also lectured at Griffith University in their Migration Law and Practice course.

Recently Ben has worked directly with senior members of the Australian Government and Parliament in policy advisory roles.

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Steve Giles

Board Director

Steve is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Organisation Strategy & Design practice and leads operating model and organization design for the AAPAC region.

Steve was previously Executive, Workforce Strategy & Design at a major Australian bank. He was responsible for shaping enterprise organization design and conducting long-term capability-based workforce planning. Prior to this, Steve spent 13 years with Deloitte Consulting, working predominantly across the United States and Australia to deliver a wide range of workforce-related productivity programs. When he left in 2018, he was Lead Human Capital Partner for QLD and Australian National Lead for organization design.

Steve lives with his family on the Gold Coast, Australia. When not at work, Steve can be found in the surf or on a mountain bike in the hinterland.

He has a BA/BSc in Psychology from the Australian National University and an MBA from Cornell University.

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Life Members

Pat Anderson

The late Pat Anderson volunteered for almost 10 years in the Transport Services division of Volunteering Gold Coast, retiring in 2013.

Working as a volunteer Administration Assistant, Pat was critical in the initial set up of the Transport Services.

For a further 5 years, she performed a paid Administration role, and still continued to volunteer. Pat and her faithful canine companion Abby were regarded as colourful characters in the office.

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John Hyman

John joined Volunteering Gold Coast Transport Services as a volunteer in 2003. His main role was a driver for the original Shopping Club service, and in the early days, he was joined by his wife Lorraine who would accompany him on the Thursday service to The Pines.

John has been both loyal and flexible in his support for Transport Services and his can-do approach to driving has been a model for the vast number of drivers we have today.

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John Dennett

The late John Dennett commenced as a volunteer driver with Volunteering Gold Coast Transport Services in early 2004. John was a volunteer driver for the Shopping Club service in its early days and later, with the Transport Consortium, John joined the Anglicare team.

In more recent years John has been a driver for the Shared Transport service. John is one of a colourful group of drivers who ensures our clients have fun.

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Sandra Sutherland

From the time of her first appointment until her retirement in June 2017, Sandra epitomised the notion of services to the community, the organisation and her team.

It was Sandra’s commitment to transport clients that inspired and motivated Australia’s first community transport consortium.

Sandra is loved and respected by everyone within the team and all who connected with her across the community.

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Peter Mark

Peter Mark has contributed more than 20 years of service to Volunteering Gold Coast and is currently Chair of the Board.

Previously, as the Gold Coast Home and Community Care (HACC) Area Manager, Peter’s support and ideas were critical in the establishment of Volunteering Gold Coast Transport Services.

Peter’s capacity to understand organisational behaviour and leadership in a dynamic organisation and establishing an inclusive culture, have been crucial elements to the success of Volunteering Gold Coast.

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Joy-Anne Fisher

Joy-Anne was appointed to the Volunteering Gold Coast Management Committee in October 2007.
Her tireless passion and experience within the Not-For-Profit sector has been beneficial in Volunteering Gold Coast embracing change and identifying the need for innovation and community market share.

Joy-Anne has continued her family’s legacy with the organisation and is a pivotal member of the Board as Vice Chair.

Joy-Anne’s dedication to the organisation for over 15 years is the catalyst of her becoming a Life Member in 2017.

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Anita Brennan

Anita was an inaugural member of the Volunteering Gold Coast Board of Directors and served various capacities during her 16 years of service. Anita’s advocacy for community organisations ensured that there was always a voice for our clients and members.

As the Manager of Southern Gold Coast 60s and Better, Anita was able to shape Volunteering Gold Coast with a strong community focus ensuring we kept with our grass roots within the community. Her ability to be objective meant there was always a place for innovation and growth in the organisation. Anita served until 2013 when she retired.

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Jason Hayden

Jason’s time as Chair of the Board at Volunteering Gold Coast enabled the organisation to enhance its community driven reputation, adopting strong business practices.

Jason’s strength as a leader and his ability to encourage and galvanise the vision and energy of the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, led to a substantial increase in services and significant improvement in the quality of services provided.

His leadership saw Volunteering Gold Coast win a cluster of regional, state and national business and Not-For-Profit excellence awards.

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Dorothy Williams OAM

Dorothy has been widely acclaimed in the Gold Coast community for her vision and foresight as the founder of Volunteering Gold Coast.

Over the years, as the unofficial mother figure of the organisation, Dorothy has nurtured and supported countless staff and managers to ensure the entire team met the challenges of their community development roles.

As the CEO of FSG Australia Dorothy established the fledgling volunteer resource centre. Dorothy was Volunteering Gold Coast’s inaugural President and her guidance and support for the Board of Directors and managers of the organisation are regarded as the forefront of community development.

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John Muller

John has volunteered with Volunteering Gold Coast for over 12 years. He has been instrumental in developing the Community Liaison Department as well as creating huge awareness of the Volunteering Gold Coast brand and services.

He has tirelessly worked on major campaigns including International Day of People With Disabilities, and has been the instigator in building lifelong partnerships with Hospitals, RSL’s and clubs, Probos and more on the Gold Coast.

John’s hugely successful career as Managing Director of Terrafirma Consulting, Personnel Manager at Coles, National Operations Manager at Ella Bache to name a few, enabled him to apply his corporate experience into VGC on a national scale. Specialising in training and development, behavioural change, business innovation and more.

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Terry & Wendy Kelly

Terry and Wendy volunteered for VGC for 10 years (2008-2018), Terry as a driver and Wendy as his assistant.

They were a very popular couple servicing the Thursday Shopping run, driving once or twice a week on the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation Cancer Treatment Transport, taking our elderly clients on Outings around the Gold Coast and beyond, and also driving on our community circuit.

They both gave time to the WH & S committee where Terry’s experience in his previous job was very valuable and Wendy acted as secretary.

Over the years Terry and Wendy have given an enormous amount of time to our organisation for which the community cannot thank them enough.

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Our Team

Brad Cooper

Chief Executive Officer

Brad has worked in Not-For-Profit organisations for the majority of his working life. He has more than 15 years of experience in senior operational and executive roles in human services organisations across Victoria, Tasmania, and Queensland.

Brad began his career as a Nurse moving from hospitals into tertiary education and research, then transitioned to community aged care, homelessness services, and mental health services.

Brad’s focus is on outcomes and impact for service users and employees, drawing on the collective wisdom and insights across the organisation.

Brad has held volunteer roles as a board member and project roles developing professional practice standards.

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Matthew Grant

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew has held senior positions at large Not-For-Profit organisations for over 16 years. Including Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

Matthew is an experienced Executive Leader, Company Secretary and Non-Executive Director with a demonstrated history in management and leadership in the for-purpose care and support service industries.

Matthew is a strategist and operational excellence leader. Skilled in Team Leadership, Corporate Services, Financial Management, Business Processes, Team Building and Corporate Governance.

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Jo Jones

General Manager – Community Services

Jo has been with Volunteering Gold Coast since 2008 and enjoys the diversity her role brings to the organisation.

Starting as the Transport Services Coordinator she quickly embraced the strategic objectives and became a pivotal leader within the organisation.

Jo is responsible for both the Volunteering, Community Visitor Scheme Program and the Transport Services. Ensuring the Transport Services and the Transport Consortium is appropriately resourced, managing over 20 staff, as well as managing the volunteer services and programs.

Her teams in Volunteering and Transport Services work hard to ensure funding requirements are met and embrace the new services that VGC implement.

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Nicole Smith

General Manager – Marketing & Communications

Nicole is passionate about supporting and engaging local community. With over 20 years of marketing experience, she brings with her a wealth of expertise from the corporate sector.

Nicole has worked comprehensively across a vast array of industries and brands. She is highly experienced, passionate and driven, with an abundance of knowledge to manage a driven Marketing Team.

Empowering her team with opportunities to be innovative, collaborative, impactful, inclusive and fearless, Nicole harnesses creativity that drives the marketing message.

Thriving on a challenge, Nicole works with the local community, Not-For-Profits and Corporations.

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