Our Team

Regional Manager - Julie Thomson

Julie leads the delivery of Volunteer Wellington’s strategic and operational planning. She joined Volunteer Wellington as an interviewer in 2000 which sparked her passion for working in the community & voluntary sector. She has a particular interest in the career advancement of Managers of Volunteers and was on the Volunteering NZ Learning and Development group that developed the Competencies for Managers of Volunteers. She received an Orangi Kaupapa Trust award for her commitment and enthusiasm to promoting positive social change.

Julie enjoys being part of a team of talented and enthusiastic people who are focused on championing volunteering and building strong connected communities.

Manager Lower Hutt - Kim Jansen

Kim manages Volunteer Hutt, a branch of Volunteer Wellington. She has a background in administration and became involved in the community and voluntary sector after volunteering as an interviewer at Volunteer Hutt. She is currently involved with ARAN animal rescue and part of the IHC Friendship Programme. She believes there are many benefits to volunteering; not just to the community but also for the volunteers themselves. She is passionate about holistic health, empowering people and helping them to reach their goals.

Manager Porirua - Julia Donovan

Julia manages Volunteer Porirua, a branch office of Volunteer Wellington. She is a big fan of the vibrant, youthful city of Porirua, and loves seeing how the locals support one another, and how volunteering changes people’s lives. Currently she’s inspired by this thought she found on Twitter: “When people talk about travelling to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small, but barely anyone in the present really thinks that they can radically change the future by doing something small.”

Coordinator EV - Lyne Pringle

Lyne worked in dance and theatre for 36 years as a dance artist and choreographer.

Amongst other things, she created large scale community events which focused on building awareness of the natural world and taking action as communities to protect it. Leaping sideways in 2016, to take on the role of Employee Volunteering Coordinator, has been an invigorating career change. She volunteers her time, writing about dance and planting native trees.

Communities Manager - Tracy Ward

Tracy is the manager of our Engagement in the Community programme. She comes from a background in Counselling and Social Work and has worked in areas including violence, abuse, homelessness and most recently childhood cancer. Tracy has consistently been involved in volunteering both in NZ and while living overseas and understands first-hand the many benefits of being engaged as a volunteer. She has a passion for building resilience and sees volunteering as a great pathway into developing skills, confidence and valuable connections.

Manager Member Services - Claire Teal

Claire has been consistently involved in volunteering throughout her career both nationally and internationally. Her involvement with Volunteer Wellington began in 2008 with a 5-year stint on the Board of Trustees, and in 2020 she joined the team as the Manager Member Services. She is passionate about the vital role managers/leaders of volunteers play in effective volunteer programmes.

Manager Volunteer Services - Mel Vautier

Melanie is the Manager Volunteer Services, managing the recruitment and development of volunteers at the Wellington office. She has wide-ranging background experience, including tour guiding and film production. She has just completed a Masters in Environmental Studies and is also studying Te Reo at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Melanie spends much of her spare time volunteering with multiple environmental organisations and as a committee member on the Aro Valley Community Council. She loves seeing volunteers experience a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and community.

Volunteering Wellington Board of Trustees

Board Chair - Ming-chun Wu

Ming-chun is a public-sector manager with over ten years’ experience in leadership at a senior level across several social sector agencies. She holds four Bachelor’s degrees and an MBA and specialises in strategic leadership and organisational change management. Being social-minded outside work, Ming-chun is also the current national Director of Altrusa International in New Zealand which is a local community service organisation with 19 clubs across the country. She joined the Volunteer Wellington Board in 2015.

Trustee - Debbie Gee

Debbie has over 30 years’ senior management experience in strategic communications, marketing and engagement across central and local government. She holds an MBA and qualifications in project management and public participation. She is currently working as a consultant and contractor as well as running a small business. Debbie is a member of the Community Comms Collective and Zonta Wellington and is also on the Board of the Wellington San Francisco Society. She joined the Volunteer Wellington Board in 2018.

Trustee - Anton Samoilenko

Anton is a management consultant with a focus on strategy and finance. Anton has a real passion for building stronger communities and improving outcomes of New Zealanders, having previously worked with District Health Boards, ACC and Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children). Anton holds a Master’s Degree in Commerce (Economics) and is an accredited Better Business Cases practitioner.

Anton joined the Volunteer Wellington board in 2018

Trustee - Fiona Smith

Fiona is the Fundraising Manager at Volunteer Service Abroad. She has over 12 year’s experience working as a professional fundraiser both in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. During that time she has worked for a wide variety of organisations including arts charities, hospice, a political party and now for an international development organisation. Fiona is passionate about the power of using data to inform decision making and build the best possible relationships with donors. Fiona is currently a Good Bitch, contributing home baking to a variety of Wellington organisations.

Trustee - Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson joined the Volunteer Wellington board in 2019, bringing 8 years sales and business development experience. Tracy quickly earned her reputation to provide enthusiastic and professional service, developing a personalised market segment sales approach and developing key accounts. Working with businesses to achieve their goals, exploring marketing, customer service and sales opportunities. She also holds a volunteer role on the Wellington Marketing Association committee.

Tracy thrives on helping others succeed. She also facilitates events for women, teens and parents to discuss resiliency and goal setting tips to achieve what sparks busy teens and adults joy.

Trustee - Jordan Lankshear

Jordan has recently started as a management consultant having completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2019. He has been volunteering at Volunteer Wellington since early 2018 as part of the Vanguard group for the Employee Volunteering programme.

Being able to give back to the community, offer a different perspective and learn some new skills is why he is excited to be a board member at Volunteer Wellington.