Executive, staff & volunteers

A team with heart & drive


Our highly skilled, service-driven, engaged workforce is committed to developing and promoting volunteering at a local and state level. We employ the power of partnerships and collaboration to lead and serve the volunteering movement. We are able to do this vital work because of the generosity and giving spirit of Queensland’s volunteers. We work together across these core areas:



“We engaged 62 extraordinary, skilled volunteers who over the last financial year generously contributed 6,199 hours of valuable work in all areas of our business supporting Volunteering Queensland to achieve its vision and mission and deliver quality services. A contribution conservatively valued at $216,283. Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers - we are able to achieve the valuable work we do because of you.”

Executive management team

Chief Executive Officer

Mara Basanovic

Mara has worked in the volunteering and community sectors for more than 25 years.

During this time she has led state-wide organisations and talented teams, developing and implementing successful innovations, programs and strategic alignments that have brought benefits to the volunteer sector and the broader community at the local, regional, state and national level.  

As Chief Executive Officer of Volunteering WA for eight years, Mara lead the development and continual expansion of the new GoVolunteer and VIKTOR Online as the national digital platforms for volunteer referral and management; the expansion of corporate volunteer engagement and the introduction of Australia’s first Corporate Volunteer Council which led to the launch of the Give1 initiative – a celebration of corporate giving; the development of a system to recruit and manage spontaneous volunteers and manage material and in kind donations at times of emergency and disaster; introduction of the Western Australian Volunteer of the Year Awards; the annual award winning Homeless Connect Perth; an annual research agenda; establishment of dedicated volunteering hubs on university campuses and development of new programs, models of service delivery and resources to overcome barriers and promote inclusive and rewarding volunteering experiences.  

As well as her extensive knowledge of and expertise in volunteerism, Mara has a wealth of experience and knowledge and strong links with the cultural, educational, youth and multicultural sectors.

Throughout her career Mara has been responsible for the implementation of many innovative educational, community, youth and cultural development projects and programs, including – a multi-arts approach to education; an award winning Circus Arts in Education accredited program; the Living in Harmony initiative, which was the subject of a UN Media Peace Award; Stage One Children’s Festival, the forerunner of the Awesome Children’s Festival; redefining the Australia Day Oz Concert and the Western Australian Citizen of the Year Awards to be premiere events celebrating the diverse community of Western Australia; coordinating the CHOGM 2011 Volunteer Program; and many other cultural and community development initiatives.  

Mara was Australia’s Country Representative Body delegate to the United Nations Volunteers; Australia’s National Volunteer Centre representative at the International Association for Volunteer Effort; and Western Australia’s representative on the Policy and Strategy Committee of Volunteering Australia. She has been an active member of various multicultural and emergency service advisory and social policy committees.  

With a long family tradition of volunteering, Mara appreciates and promotes the reciprocal benefits volunteering can bring. “My philosophy is simply to do all that I can to make our community the best it can be for all people. We all have something to contribute and share and we are all in need of a helping hand at some time”.

She believes volunteering provides opportunities to strengthen community connectedness and participation in civil society. “It fosters a sense of belonging and purpose and enables citizens to give of their best and appreciate their own and others’ potential”.

Mara is an active volunteer, currently serving as a member of the Order of St John and with multicultural and faith-based committees and organisations.

“To bring together through the vehicle of volunteering the energy, capabilities and positivity of people who want to create a better world by giving something back is both inspiring and a privilege”

Sector Development Senior Manager

Michelle Lindley

Michelle has had a career of over 20 years that has spanned the community, youth, tourism and predominantly the sport and recreation industry with the most recent focus being in the training and education of these sectors.

Michelle has worked for government, private and not-for-profit sector through management, industry engagement and training roles and had the privilege of working in Queensland’s regional and remote areas as well as the larger metropolitan areas. She has a Bachelor of Recreation Management and Welfare, Diploma of Business and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment amongst other accredited and non-accredited knowledge. She has volunteered most of her life on committees, in small and large event coordination roles, in sporting organisations, women’s health services and informally in the community.

Having worked with and alongside a broad spectrum of people and in numerous sectors has assisted her current training role with experience and understanding that enriches the training sessions.

Volunteer Services Senior Manager

Kathy Davenport-Mills

Kathy has worked in the community services and child protection sectors for over 20 years. She facilitated the Certificate IV and Diploma in Child Protection at TAFE. Kathy has also worked as a Senior Project Officer in different regional areas across Queensland with the Department of Education and Training and is a registered Teacher.

Kathy joined Volunteering Queensland as the SAAVI (Students as Active Volunteers Initiative) Coordinator in 2013 and has a Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Education, Certificate IV in Mental Health, Certificate IV in TAE and the Certificate IV in Volunteer Program Coordination. Over the years, Kathy has volunteered with various not-for-profit and church organisations in her local community.

Strategic Engagement Senior Manager

Julie Molloy

Julie has more than 18 years’ experience as an educator and consultant, with strong roots in community education, community development, adult education and is also a TAE qualified Trainer, Assessor.

Julie has worked in a variety of sectors internationally including nonprofit, local and national governments, private and corporate in the UK, Canada, the US, the Caribbean, the Netherlands and Australia.

Julie has been developing and managing more than 20 state-wide and interstate initiatives, projects, events and services. Furthermore, in addition to the multi award winning Step Up: Building Community Resilience program, she has further developed and manages the innovative Emergency Volunteering CREW (Community Response to Extreme Weather) service, facilitating and enabling more than 30,000 emergency volunteers. These initiatives continue to garner national and international interest which has seen some of them roll out into new jurisdictions with new project partners.

Julie is engaged in progressing a more inclusive volunteering agenda, highlighting the strong linkage between building resilient communities and the importance of safer, inclusive community participation. Julie passionately collaborates in strategic policy development and research focusing on community resilience to disasters, emergency volunteering and episodic volunteering and is actively involved with many related reference groups, committees and panels.

Marketing & Communications Senior Manager

Vanessa Codling

Vanessa's bio coming soon



Corporate Services Senior Manager

Perry Hembury

Perry has followed a pathway from the corporate sector into the not-for-profit sector and the TAFE system over a career spanning some 40 years.

For five years Perry was employed as the national manager of the Voluntary Work Initiative project working in partnership with Volunteering Australia, Centrelink and the Commonwealth government. He has delivered training at university and TAFE levels and to nonprofit organisations throughout Queensland. He has specialised in financial and risk management and not-for-profit governance and believes that effective governance is not only necessary in order to meet an organisation’s legal, ethical and moral accountabilities but also has the potential to maximise growth and prosperity within the organisation in a very positive way.

He holds qualifications in Internal Quality Auditing, a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, and tertiary qualifications, including: an Associate Diploma of Human Resource Development and a Bachelor degree in Adult and Vocational Teaching. He has a passion for supporting volunteers in a socially inclusive framework and for promoting ways to build the capacity of organisations to engage volunteers successfully.