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.’

Paula Hempstead – Board Member

Paula has been working in Local Government for 11 years as a Finance Officer.  She has held her current role for 7 years and is studying at Edith Cowan University towards a degree in Social Work.

Paula has held many volunteer positions, in Collie as a Board member for Collie Agricultural Society, School P&F, canteens, and in Bunbury now on the Board for the Intown Centre.  She has also volunteered for City of Bunbury projects that allow the whole community to come together.

James Jarvis – Board Member

James works in local government as Manager, Community Development at the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup and is committed to working in partnership with people to create strong communities of connected and capable people.

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

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