Tobi Johnson from Tobi Johnson & Associates

Focused, Formidable, and Fearless : This is Your Leadership Call to Action

In the past year, we have witnessed a global groundswell of participation and activism. People around the world have taken to the streets to express their views for a more just and inclusive world. Citizens of all ages are seeking new and inspired ways to make a difference, particularly around the issues they care most about.

But, what if these passionate agents of change find no home? What if they encounter organisations that devalue their potential and disrespect staff who support them? What if barriers to service prove to be insurmountable?

As leaders of volunteers, we can’t let this opportunity pass us by. We have more power than we realise. It’s time we held our organisations accountable for the volunteer talent that fuels their missions. It’s time to advocate for investments and environments where both employee and volunteer can flourish in partnership.

In this session, Tobi will present thought-provoking and challenging ideas about leadership from within organisations. Now, more than ever, volunteer managers must become formidable advocates for volunteers and volunteer services. It’s time to stand up and be counted!

What You Will Learn:
  • The current state of the industry and the opportunities that lay ahead
  • What’s at stake if we miss this chance to transform our practice
  • Our important roles as advocates and champions for change
  • Where we will find our deepest strength

  • Plenary
    Victor Lee & Tracey Middleton from Communiteer

    Collaboration Across The Sector : A Shared Talent Pool of Vollies

    With the tightening of our funding environment, not-for-profit organisations need to collaborate with one another to yield better efficiencies and to share resources. Imagine a shared talent pool of volunteers between Volunteer Involving Organisations across all industries. An online community that is accessible by Volunteer Managers, Volunteers and Volunteer Support Services alike. A space that reflects the diversity of skills and depth of experience available across our sector and make them more accessible. In this presentation, the Co-Founders of Communiteer will share the factors that contribute to and support successful collaboration online. They will also showcase examples and case studies from existing volunteering activities taking place on their virtual volunteering program at

    Workshop – Andy Fryar from Better Impact Repositioning Volunteer Management

    South Wharf (Main Plenary Room) Volunteering continues to morph and change, but has the leadership of volunteers kept up? Join Andy as he explores the evolution of volunteer management and challenges participants to think differently about where the profession should be heading.

    Workshop – Cassie Morris & Melissa Phillbrook from 3 Bridges Community Inclusive Volunteering : It’s Good Business, It’s Crucial for the Future

    Parkview Rooms 1 & 2 In this presentation, we will demonstrate that it is crucial volunteer involving organisations do not sideline potential volunteers because they present with barriers. We will look at the State of Volunteering in Australia Report 2016, other key research and census statistics that suggest the need for organisations to ensure that their volunteer management processes are inclusive and that individuals wishing to engage in volunteering (with varying abilities), are given appropriate assistance and attention to be enables to contribute to their community. In order to acknowledge and fully utilise the contributions of all potential volunteers; we will suggest that an evolution in organisations volunteer recruitment and management practices are needed, to ensure all volunteers are adequately supported and encouraged. During this presentation we will demonstrate effective strategies on how that can be achieved.

    Workshop – Laura Goddard from Leep The Changing Face of Australian Volunteerism : Building Innovation Through Digital Inclusion

    Parkview Rooms 3 & 4 The volunteering landscape within Australian Communities is shifting. The diverse and varied motivations that compel individuals to volunteer their time and skills has been widely acknowledged, and volunteering is increasingly being recognised as a mutually beneficial act. Many individuals wishing to volunteer are seeking opportunities that meet their own needs and fit within demanding personal and professional schedules. This diverse volunteer pool demands new ways of thinking and planning for volunteer engagement that fosters social, economic and digital inclusion for volunteers and communities alike. Workshop participants will be invited to consider how they involve volunteers in the imagining of roles within their organisations, and provided with space to workshop ideas that build and enhance volunteer leadership. Ultimately, this workshop will consider how organisations that adapt, create roles that harness volunteer leadership and embrace digital inclusion can strengthen their ability to build and activate volunteer programs – future proofing the support they offer to their community.

    Plenary – Dr Kirsten Holmes from Curtin University & Dr Debbie Haski-Leventhal from Macquarie Graduate School of Management How To Identify Potential New Volunteers

    12noon – 12.30pm – South Wharf (Main Plenary Room) Why do people choose not to volunteer? How can we help more Australians to volunteer in the future? This presentation launches an exciting and new Convertibility instrument or tool, which calculates an individual’s likelihood to volunteer. The Creating and Sustaining a Strong Future for Volunteering in Australia project, which is funded by the Australian Research Council, has developed an online instrument based on an extensive national research project of non-volunteers. The instrument uses a small number of questions to calculate an individual’s likelihood to volunteer. It will be of particular use to organisations in targeting their volunteer recruitment effectively.

    Tobi Johnson from Tobi Johnson & Associates

    Empowerment From the Inside Out : How To Mount An Internal Advocacy Campaign For Volunteers and Volunteer Services

    South Wharf (Main Plenary Room)

    Volunteers are the lynchpins of success for many organisations and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, many agencies make little or no meaningful investment in supporting and empowering their volunteers. It’s time for volunteers and volunteer managers to get the respect they deserve, and it all starts with you.

    Transformations can take place in how organisations approach resourcing their volunteer initiatives, but it takes advanced leadership skills to bring about deep change.

    In this lively, hands-on workshop, Tobi will build upon the themes shared in her keynote and provide a framework for converting theory into action. She will share a step-by-step strategy for mounting an internal camping of influence grounded in theory and practical application.

    You can become a powerful advocate for our field, and she will show you how! Participants will also get access to a workbook to plan and execute their strategy.

    What You Will Learn:
  • How to clarify your goals, so you know when you’ve reached them
  • How to build authority and influence so your requests get traction
  • How to gain buy-in from key decision makers using proven change management tactics
  • How to continue to build upon the core skills you need to lead

  • Workshop – Dale Rees-Bevan from SpeakersBank Changing Perceptions One Conversation at a Time

    Parkview Rooms 1 & 2 This will be an interactive workshop to explore how volunteers perceive their role, how volunteers and managers portray their roles and how to get the public to ‘get’ the third sector. Each interaction with our volunteers, or between volunteers and the public, carries with it an attitude, a message and loaded language. Dale will share her successes (and failures) and explore the key communication strategies which have contributed to keeping a strong team together. The objective of the workshop is to examine volunteering perceptions and create a raised awareness of the effect of individual conversations. Participants will analyse their default language and behaviours when talking to volunteers and about volunteering and refine strategies to communicate differently where necessary.

    Workshop – Megs Oborne from Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau Way2Go Volunteering – Online Toolkit for Volunteer Managers

    Parkview Rooms 3 & 4 Is your not for profit organisation struggling with the complexities of managing volunteers? The Way2Go training program makes establishing and maintaining compliant volunteer management systems easy. Way2Go volunteer management training takes the hard work out of developing, reviewing and updating volunteer management systems. Way2Go is endorsed by the NSW Department for Family and Community Services and supports the implementation of compliant, best practice volunteer management systems.

    Workshop – Alex Rixon-Booth from I Need Helpers Major Events – Tourism Volunteering

    South Wharf (Main Plenary Room) I Need Helpers have set the benchmark in tourism volunteering for many years. Join Alex Rixon-Booth as he walks you through his company’s model for attracting, retaining and managing episodic tourism volunteering – major events, with a focus on the Vivid Sydney program.

    Workshop – Mark Trevaskis from Newcastle City Council The National Standards Game

    Parkview Rooms 1 & 2 Is your organisation suffering from inconsistent volunteer management practices? Do you want to understand where you sit against the National Standards? Do you know what your employees and volunteers really think about your service delivery? Are you looking for a quick and easy way to engage your people in a change process? Then this workshop is for you. The National Standards Game is an interactive exercise designed to bring the National Standards to life while also engaging a diverse organisation in a reflective exercise. This workshop is designed to disrupt the typical review process by bringing together those with ground knowledge and responsibility together early in the review process. Participants will be asked to score their own organisation against the National Standards and participate in an open discussion about what the results actually mean for them and their organisation.

    Workshop – Jennifer Crossman from Kids Giving Back The Next Generation of Generosity : Investing in our Future

    Parkview Rooms 3 & 4 Kids Giving Back provides hands-on, age appropriate, meaningful volunteering opportunities for young people aged 6-18. Our mission is to create the Next Generation of Generosity, our vision is to create a better, more accepting society, based on empathy and understanding, one child at a time. Our mission embraces both leadership as well as a stewardship of volunteering, as the baton is passed from one generation to the next. Our approach is innovative and is a whole of community approach that builds a collaborative ecosystem, inspiring (and future proofing) a new generation of volunteers. Our presenter will explore key themes in her message by discussion the philosophy and methodology of Kids Giving Back, along with images and discussion of past collaborations with our charity partners.

    Plenary – Dr Rebekah Grace from Macquarie University & Les Hems from Ernst & Young Social Return on Investment Analysis : A Case Study of a Community-Based Home Visiting Program

    3.55pm – 4.25pm – South Wharf (Main Plenary Room) Volunteer Family Connect (VFC) is a community-based early intervention program, in which trained volunteers provide one-on-one support to isolated and/or vulnerable parents and carers of young children. Over the last five years, three not-for-profit organisations (The Benevolent Society, Karitane, Save The Children), three universities (Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, University of London) and one corporate partner (Ernst & Young), have worked together to develop a theory of change and to rigorously examine the effectiveness of volunteer home visiting in the Australian context. In this session, participants will have the opportunity to consider whether and how their own programs might engage with an SROI approach to demonstrate their total value. Session participants will also have the opportunity to consider what role they may play in public service reform.




    Ms Jodie Harrison MP – Member for Charlestown

    Dr Mike Freelander MP – Member for Macarthur

    Ms Julie Owens MP – Federal Member for Parramatta