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 - Katie Terris

Katie joined the staff of Volunteer Wellington as manager of the Hutt office in April 2006. Her previous jobs had involved working in the education area, in pre-school and in adult education. She has worked as a relationship counsellor and acted as an electorate secretary for MP Sonja Davies. Working with volunteers and community organisations has been a continuation of Katie’s enjoyment of working with a very diverse range of people.

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/Volunteers

Jo Nixon is the Manager Member Services/Volunteers. She comes from a background in Learning and Development and has worked for private and public sector organisations. One of her greatest achievements has been raising two human beings who are confident, happy, curious and future leaders! Jo has been involved in volunteering throughout her lifetime and says “Having been a volunteer I know the amazing experiences, challenges, self-awareness and results that can come from giving your time to others. I am very excited to be working for an organisation that has the ability to make a positive contribution to our community every day.”

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 VW Board in 2015.

Trustee - Dawn Ferguson

Dawn has a background in teaching, IT, strategic planning and independent reviews for companies, not-for-profit organisations and government departments. Since a teenager she has been actively involved in volunteer work including everything from hospital volunteering to the Institute of International Affairs, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and Khandallah Presbyterian Church. She is delighted to be a member of the VW Board since 2016.

Trustee - Raewyn Sinclair

Raewyn is a Human Resources practitioner with fifteen years’ experience in Wellington within tertiary education, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. She has been associated with Volunteer Wellington since 2002, which has given her a broad understanding of volunteer issues through her experience as a volunteer interviewer and a previous six-year term on the Board of Trustees. She has also volunteered with member organisations, and her recent role with the New Zealand Fire Service provided the employer perspective of working with a large volunteer workforce.

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 VW 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 VW 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.