A message from our Board of Directors

Following a long and successful career as CEO of two state volunteering peak bodies, the Board of Volunteering Queensland announces the retirement of Volunteering Queensland’s CEO Mara Basanovic effective early January 2024.   

For the past eight years Mara has been at the helm of Volunteering Queensland, navigating the organisation through significant transformation and unprecedented change. Her substantial impact during her tenure has seen an organisational revitalisation, including the positive transition to a strong, positive fiscal position and multiple strategic, operational and technological advancements. 

Mara successfully rebranded and repositioned Volunteering Queensland to advance its mission and role as Queensland’s respected peak body for volunteering.  She has worked tirelessly to unite Queensland’s volunteering sector and advance volunteering across the state through good volunteer management practice.

Notably, Mara led Volunteering Queensland’s Emergency Volunteering CREW and Care Army response through the management of volunteer efforts in numerous unprecedented and devastating disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Mara has demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership of Volunteering Queensland through challenging times. I want to publicly thank Mara for her devotion and service that have ensured the organisation is well placed to continue to grow and perform its essential role in enabling volunteering.

“Mara has tirelessly promoted the value, place and recognition of volunteering and strongly advocated for the need for ongoing investment in volunteering as a major contributor to the economic and social wellbeing of our state.”

Brett Johnson, President of Volunteering Queensland

Mara has also been pivotal in implementing many innovative programs promoting equity, inclusion as well as sector and broader community capacity and capability building. A focus of her leadership has been the reinvigoration and of valuing of volunteering at a time of change, challenge and decline in volunteer participation rates. Through Mara’s inclusive management she led the development of a shared vision for a dynamic and prosperous the future of Volunteering Queensland.  

Leading, and together with, a talented team Mara has achieved inspiring and meaningful change for volunteering in Queensland through a committed focus on advocacy, policy, research, training and dedicated service. She has been a passionate activist representing the voice of volunteering on numerous high-level committees, forums and advisory groups.

“Mara has been instrumental in improving organisational growth, impact and reach, and prioritised staff and sector engagement, relationships, and capacity and capability building. Through her leadership the organisation has flourished year on year”, Brett says.

“I wish Mara well in her retirement and know that Volunteering Queensland will continue to benefit from her valued vision, leadership, and accomplishments delivered over the past eight years.”  

The Volunteering Queensland Board will immediately begin a recruitment process to appoint a new CEO with extensive senior leadership and relevant industry experience to start early 2024. 

Skip to content