The Ministerial Council for Volunteers (the Council) was established from 2015 to 2018 to provide high-level independent advice to Government on how best to support and strengthen the volunteer sector.

Priorities for strengthening volunteering in Victoria

The Council's priorities for strengthening volunteering in Victoria is a culmination of all its work over the last three years, and provides a platform for future volunteering policy development and design across the volunteering community in Victoria.

The high-level framework supports the Council's vision for volunteering, where "Volunteers are engaged, supported and valued, and undertake their roles in a volunteering community that is effective, sustainable and valuable to all Victorians".

The framework is the final official product from the Council and outlines the outcomes, enablers and priority areas to support, engage and build Victoria’s volunteering community.

For further information, please e-mail

Priority ideas: Strengthening volunteering in Victoria

In addition to the framework, the Council has provided its Priority Ideas: strengthening volunteering in Victoria report to government.

The report completes the Council’s work to provide strategic policy advice to the current government, and provides a range of potential program and policy opportunities for future consideration.


During the Council’s term, members included people from emergency services, health, sport, disability, arts and culture, conservation, youth, seniors, diversity, education and the community services sector.


Gabrielle Williams, then Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers

Council members

Members of the Council were appointed for their experience covering a wide range of volunteering interests and perspectives. 

  • Mr Simon Abrahams
  • Ms Sherry Balcombe 
  • Ms Helen Coleman
  • Ms Karen Dimmock
  • Mr Daniel Leighton
  • Ms Kylie Lewis
  • Ms Angela Malan
  • Ms Gail McHardy
  • Ms Elsie Mutton
  • Ms Simone Power
  • Ms Gail Rodgers
  • Mr David Rowlands
  • Ms Kate Torney
  • Mr Paul Wheelton AM KSJ
  • Mr Walter Villagonzalo

With thanks also to former Council members:

  • Mr Walter Harrison
  • Mr Mark McAllion
  • Ms Casey Nunn
  • Mr Ian Walker

Advisor to the Council

The role of Advisor to the Council acknowledged Volunteering Victoria’s important function as the state peak body, and its strong connections across the volunteer sector. 

Special thanks to:

  • Geoff Sharp
  • Scott Miller
  • Bronwen Clark
  • Roz Wollmering

Council’s work

Throughout its term, the Council undertook research and produced a number of reports, which have informed the development of the Council’s priorities for strengthening and supporting volunteering in Victoria.

Volunteers in Victoria report

The Council’s Volunteers in Victoria: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities report was developed to provide a contemporary narrative for volunteering. It also provides a summary of the known social benefits, economic value and current trends.

Leadership in Volunteering survey

The Council conducted a survey in late 2016 to seek the views of those who lead or coordinate volunteers. Findings from this survey helped to inform key points on strengthening volunteer leadership in Victoria.