Board Members

Board Members

Volunteer South West Board of Management 2021-2022

Volunteer South West board of management oversee the governance and the strategic direction of the organisation, supporting staff and volunteers to deliver a substantial service to individuals and volunteer involving organisations in the Bunbury Geographe Region.

Nicola Smith – Chairperson

Nicky currently works for St John of God Social Outreach in the area of suicide prevention. She has a Bachelor of Social Science (Human Services) from Edith Cowan University and has worked in the community services sector in the region for coming up to 30 years. She has worked with young people and older adults as well as in the mental health sector and many of her roles have included working with volunteers.

Nicky has coordinated an aged care service, lectured in community services at TAFE and been the Manager at headspace Bunbury. She has volunteered on a number of Boards including most recently as Chairperson for SW Emergency Care for Children and was involved with the Committee that set up the South West RYDE program that matches volunteer driver mentors with young novice drivers to assist with gaining supervised driving hours.

She is a member of Amnesty International Australia, campaigning for human rights and also teaches yoga and mediation. Her favourite quote and philosophy in life is “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  – Mahatma Ghandi

Brenda Hamlett – Vice Chairperson

Brenda is now retired from a career as a secondary teacher of mathematics and science and a primary teacher educator. As a mature age student she completed a Doctor of Mathematics Education research degree. This focused on the mathematical literacy of pre-service primary teachers with a view to ensuring they could answer the questions they were asking children to do in class.

As a new graduate in the 1970s she spent two years working with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Sierra Leone as a secondary teacher – the experience of a lifetime!

Brenda has been involved in Girl Guides since joining as a Brownie at the age of seven and over that time has held positions at local, state, national and international level. As well as working in Guide Units in the UK, Sierra Leone and Australia with girls aged from six to eighteen, she has been a District Manager, member of the Asia Pacific Training Pool, Australian Training Adviser and State Commissioner for Girl Guides WA. She is currently Region Manager for Southwood which includes Waroona, Bunbury, Capel, Busselton and Boyup Brook.

Jenny Shin – Treasurer

Jenny volunteered at Volunteer South West for a number of years and found it a priceless experience. She says that the best thing was meeting beautiful-minded people who always motivated her to be a better human being.

Jenny currently works at J&P Group as an accounts officer and says ‘I feel really honoured to assist as VSW Treasurer’.

Lyn Frings – Secretary

Lyn says that volunteering is something she’s been involved with since the age of 11, when as a St John’s Nursing Cadet, she would attend events to give first aid to anyone who needed it.

Lyn brings with her a wealth of experience of secretarial duties, including writing up a constitution. She currently volunteers at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre and really enjoys it.

Lyn says ‘I find helping out in the community to be very beneficial for all concerned, and it is a wonderful way of staying connected in this increasingly dis-connected world of non-contact times.’

Laurette LeCras – Board Member

Following a long career in health management, Laurette spent 25 years working in various senior roles within Bethanie Aged Care. The last of which was setting up and coordinating their volunteer program across community, home care and residential services in the Midwest, metropolitan, Peel and South West regions. Able to experience first hand the enormous difference and additional benefits volunteers bring to aged care, on her retirement in 2021 Laurette did not hesitate to return to Bethanie as a volunteer. She volunteers at both Bethanie Fields, Eaton and Bethanie Elanora, Bunbury as well as on the Consumer Advisory Group.

Laurette is also very active in her local church which includes as a board member the role of Secretary at Australind Baptist.

‘I am so enjoying being able to bring to all the volunteering roles a passion for wanting to make a difference within our wonderful community. It doesn’t take much effort to bring a smile to someone’s face and know you have made a significant contribution. I urge everyone to give volunteering a go – I am sure you will have no regrets.’

James Jarvis – Board Member

James works at the Busselton Hospice Care Inc that includes, as part of its community programs, excellent volunteering services in hospice, complementary therapies and community outreach areas.  He is committed to working in partnership with people to create strong communities of connected and capable people who work together to tackle social justice issues.

James holds a variety of committee positions with community groups, including as Chair of Linkwest. His approach to developing communities is strengths-based and follows asset-based principles.

Rebecca McLevie – Board Member

Bec (she/her) is the Youth Development Officer at the Shire of Capel (on Wadandi Boodja). With a background in Communications and Health Promotion, she has a love of empowering people to live healthy and happy lives. In particular, Bec is passionate about supporting people in the LGBTQIA+ community, working on mental health initiatives in her community, and increasing accessibility to services. Bec is also the Chairperson of the Dalyellup Youth Local Drug Action Group and has been a volunteer in the community services industry for many years. She is very eager to be involved with Volunteer South West to learn from others and to support wherever she can.

Belinda Poole – Board Member

Belinda is a busy single mum of two beautiful boys (one in High School the other in pre primary) and Volunteering is one of her great passions and she has been doing it since she was in her teens. Her first volunteer position was on the City of Bunbury Big Swamp Development Committee back when she was 19 and they were trying to get the Big Swamp Playground planned, designed and built. I was on that committee for 5 years until the playground was built and officially opened by the Mayor at the time. 

Since then Belinda has been involved in a wide range of volunteering roles and organisations – she is currently a volunteer fire fighter with the Bunbury Volunteer Bushfire Brigade which she joined in her 20s and returned to the brigade in 2020 after a 12 year break having a family. She is also the President of the P&C at her son’s school and has been involved in the P&C for a number of years.

Belinda says, ‘my biggest inspiration to volunteer has always been my dad. He always encouraged me from a young age to volunteer. Always volunteer your time to something- anything he would say. Always. Be of service to others – your time is a gift and it can be given to your community to make a difference. I have taken this with me throughout life. Investing in my community and town by donating my time to volunteering.’

‘Volunteering can be a thankless job at times, you don’t get paid for the hard work that you do. But the greatest reward is seeing and knowing you made a difference. It’s the best feeling. You can’t take many things with you in this life but all the good that you do for others lives on long after your gone. And it’s something no one can ever take away from you.’


VSW is always interested in hearing from people with the skills and experience to govern our organisation. If this is you, please contact the Manager, Shamara Williams