John Willis – Community Development Officer, Golden City Support Services
John Willis works as a Community Development Officer with Golden City Support Services – a non-government organisation providing disability, mental health, and dementia supports based in Bendigo. He has worked in the field of disability support for the last 20 years.
In 2002 John co-founded CreateAbility, an arts organisation providing opportunities for people of all abilities to express themselves and connect with others. CreateAbility produces workshops, projects, and events across a range of visual and performing arts forms. In 2013 John completed a Masters in Community Cultural Development with the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne).
Maree Stanley – Business Owner & Client Service Manager, MLC Advice Bendigo.
Currently working across client and business platforms to implement improved processes and compliance. Involved in delivery of client outcomes. Former, Manager, School Programs – The Alannah and Madeline Foundation and founding member of NCAB (National Centre Against Bullying), retired from the position in 2019. Developed, delivered and managed national prevention program in primary schools and assisted with the international program adapted, written and developed by The Mary Foundation, Denmark. This included Masters of Education to develop evidence-based research for the program.
David Wright JP – Retired Council Executive
David has been involved with the centre since its inception in 2002, having been a member of a working group that recognised the need for this vital service in our community. His long involvement in Local Government gave him the insight to understand how volunteering can be the” glue” that binds community together and builds a caring and responsive community. Since that time he has occupied the positions of Secretary and Treasurer, and as a volunteer coordinated the Skilled Volunteer Group.
His involvement with the community is extensive holding life memberships at the Bendigo Trust where he is currently Chairman, Capital Theatre, Bendigo Community Theatre and Arts, and the Bendigo Easter Fair Society. He is also Chairman of the Eaglehawk Community House, Treasurer for the Honorary Justices Bendigo Branch, member of the Bendigo Health Volunteer Reference Group, member of the Regional Archives Advisory Committee, and Trustee for the Bendigo Community Theatre and Arts.
Prior to retirement David spent 50 years in Local Government serving as Shire Secretary in two municipalities, and holds accounting and municipal clerk qualifications.
Cathie Steele – Former Health Professional
Cathie has had over 30 years experience as a physiotherapist and a health service manager, with a particular interest in service planning, quality and risk management. She held Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor positions at Monash and Melbourne Universities and has been a health service surveyor with the Australian Council on Health Care Standards.
After initiating and establishing the Australian Centre for Health Innovation at Alfred Health Cathie retired in 2012, but retains her interests in governance and entrepreneurial community development. She has held several Board positions, and has for the past few years has focused on leading the establishment of Bendigo Foodshare as a sustainable community owned, volunteer based food rescue and food relief organisation for the people of Central Victoria.
Ordinary Board Members
Paul Kirkpatrick JP – MBA, GAICD, FCHSM, BHA, BAppSc
Prior to retirement, Paul held CEO and senior management positions in health and human services organisations, and now enjoys active service with many community organisations. As well as Chair of the BVRC for the past 5 years, Paul is an active JP in the Bendigo region and enjoys short engagements as relieving CEO in not-for-profit organisations.
He is also Deputy Chair of Rotary Youth Camp Inc, [Camp Getaway (Rotary D9800)], a $1.2m project of the 70 Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 9800 to redevelop a former youth camp at Axedale Victoria, as a state of the art recreation camp for people of all abilities, and as a respite resource for carers and others.
Helen Yorston JP – Manager, Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre Inc.
Helen is a founding member and manager of the Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre since its inception in June 2002. She has extensive experience and knowledge in all things volunteering, and is the Treasurer of Victorian Volunteer Support Network.
She is also currently a Director and Board Secretary of the Bendigo Trust, Company Secretary for the Board of Management Interchange Loddon Mallee Inc., Life member and Vice-President of the Bendigo Easter Fair Society, Trustee of Bendigo Community Theatre & Arts Public Fund, Justice of the Peace, and Secretary of the Bendigo Branch of Honorary Justices. Helen was previously an Executive Assistant at the Bendigo Trust.
Steve Abbott – City of Greater Bendigo Council Representative
Steve is an Ex officio board member representing City of Greater Bendigo. His role on the BVRC board is in supporting good governance and strategic planning with the board.
His personal interests include holding the position as Director of Bendigo Community Ventures Pty Ltd, Bendigo Beer Incorporated, Acumen Property Group Pty Ltd, Bendigo Rooftop Pty Ltd and BMoney Bendigo Pty Ltd and is also a member of AICD Regional Advisory Committee, Victorian Multicultural Commission Regional Advisory Council Loddon Mallee, and Latrobe University Planning Course Advisory. Steve is also the chair of Dauntless Pty Ltd.
David Mitchell – Retired Psychologist and Workshop Facilitator.
David is a community member for the Rosalind Park Advisory Committee, retired psychologist & workshop facilitator as well as former chair Bendigo Branch of the Australian Psychological Society, manager & teacher in TAFE & Council of Adult Education. David has qualifications in psychology, criminology, teaching, massage & building.
Deborah Gates – Manager, Volunteer Services – Vision Australia
As former manager of a community care agency in Melbourne with a focus on Community Meals Programs, Food Bank services and Events, Deborah has a long history of volunteering and is currently involved in volunteer work with Connect Church. Over the past two years she has been Event Manager for the Global Leadership Conference held in Bendigo.
Sue Devereaux – Volunteer Support Services, Loddon Shire Council