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AGM 2018-19

FNQ Volunteers Inc Annual General Meeting for 2018-19 was held Tuesday 22 October 2019.

ATTENDEES: Annette Sheppard, & Russell Imaoka, with The Pyjama Foundation, Cairns Libraries, Cairns Museum, TAFE North and Real Living Options representatives.
FNQVI volunteer staff included Yvonne, Maria, Terese, Donna, Megan, Andrew, Sandra, Rhonda and Beulah.

APOLOGIES: Leeann Forsyth, Vanessa Maruna, Ninan Tharakan, Joanna Cray, Cindy Rogers

After the AGM everyone enjoyed great social interaction with delicious sandwich refreshments.

As business, Yvonne called for the previous Board to stand down. Nominations for the new Board were read, seconded and carried.

The 2019-20 Board is:
* Annette Sheppard – President
* Vanessa Maruna – Vice President
* Joanna Cray – Secretary
* Russell Imaoka – Treasurer
* Ninan Tharakan
* Leeann Forsyth

All other business was read, seconded and carried.

President’s Report from 2018-19

 As usual in the Not for Profit sector, 2018 -19 has been an eventful and challenging year. With our funding guaranteed till 30 June 2021 we have been able to further our forward planning and have adopted a new Strategic Plan and embarked upon an organisational restructure which was finally enacted post this reporting period.

Risk management has been high on the to do list, and we have done a risk assessment across the organisation that includes the obvious WH&S statutory requirements, as well as succession planning and funding sources. With funding from the Department of Social Services under threat and the current focus on competitive tendering for Grants, there is every risk that funding will be discontinued beyond June 2021. We are endeavouring to identify new funding sources and income streams.

The Department have still not delivered their promised Review Paper from 2017, so the Volunteer Resource Centres throughout Australia are operating in a vacuum with regard to their sustainability beyond 2021. As we were created by the Federal Government to co-ordinate and manage volunteer resources, we rely heavily upon the continuation of the existing Funding Agreements.

As it stands we have only one paid employee, and are staffed by volunteers who effectively manage the day to day affairs of our organisation. FNQVI is only possible because of the contribution of many hours of unpaid work that they carry out on a daily basis. We are indebted to these people for their unstinting loyalty, dedication and commitment that they bring to the organisation and to the volunteering principle. Without them we would not exist.

In fact, 2019 marks the 20th year since FNQVI opened its doors. We have faced many challenges over that period and have survived, thanks to the steadfast commitment of our volunteer staff, and the direction of the Board who have juggled the finances to ensure a sustainable organisation. I am confident that we will continue into the future, not necessarily in the same format as at present, to pursue our goals in the support, promotion and recruitment of volunteers in our community.

Highlights of the 2018-19 year were:

  • VEXPO (Volunteer Expo) 29 July 2018 was held at the TANKS precinct on the monthly Market Day. 30+ organisations participated and showcased what they do and how they do it. Planning for the VEXPO was held in conjunction with the monthly VCNEM. Many thanks to Yvonne Petrsuma who very ably coordinated the event, and the many FNQVI volunteer staff who participated on the day
  • Mini VEXPO pop-up at Mt. Sheridan Shopping Plaza. 14 + organisations participated in showcasing their organisations to Southside residents. This was again coordinated by Yvonne who was supported by FNQVI staff. It is planned to have at least four mini VEXPO pop-ups during the coming year
  • VCNEM (Volunteer Coordinators Network Engagement Meeting) monthly meetings were held and attendance averaged 10 representatives from a diverse range of member organisations. Coordinated by Yvonne, the VCNEM offers members the opportunity to network with other not for profits and to collaborate with events such as the VEXPO and the Mini VEXPOS, to engage in various trainings and to share resources
  • National Volunteer Day Awards FNQVI sponsors an annual luncheon to celebrate our local member’s contribution to volunteering in our community. Award winners this year were Irene Johnson of the theatre group, Tropical Arts association Inc. and Christine Hoffman of Story Dogs an innovative children’s reading program
  • James Cook University Careers Fair and Market day Promoting volunteering to JCU students
  • Eco Fiesta annual environment expo held at the wharf
  • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Annual event held at the wharf
  • Disability Action Golf Day an annual event supporting persons of all abilities
  • Defence Force Day promoting volunteering to Defence Force personnel
  • Rotary Volunteer Awards received an award for our commitment to volunteering
  • Seniors Week Positive Aging Fair promoting volunteering as a retirement activity option
  • CARMA Multicultural Festival Annual festival attracting people from the diversity of cultures that call Cairns and the region home
  • Leukaemia Foundation Light the night walk
  • Local Disaster Management Subcommittee meetings ancillary groups called upon to assist when disaster strikes in FNQ
  • Agency visits – Maxima, Hambeldon House, Djarragun College
  • Annual Christmas party a reward for a job well done, the annual get together for FNQVI volunteer staff

 Statistic to note:

  • 126 active Member organisations
  • 20 volunteer staff allocated to Reception, Admin, Membership and Referral
  • 2349 volunteers registered
  • 756 volunteers internet referrals
  • 615 volunteers word-of-mouth referrals
  • 1196 volunteer follow-ups were performed
  • 182 volunteer locations
  • 1369 receive the quarterly newsletter
  • 66 languages other than English are spoken by our volunteers
  • 26 events/functions attended promoting community engagement with potential volunteers


The Board has continued to focus on governance issues to enable the organisation to move forward towards June 2021 when our Funding Agreement expires and hopefully a new arrangement for Volunteer Management Activities (VMA) will be introduced. However, at this point beyond 2021 is conjecture, and the continuation of FNQVI is dependent upon how the funding model is developed and Government Policy directions.

Board members are to be commended on their commitment to the organisation. At times challenging, particularly when the goal posts are shifted and we need to find new ways of responding, the uncertainty of government policy directions and regulatory frameworks all make Board life interesting to say the least. Our focus needs to address risk management at all levels – governance requirements and operational responsibilities. We are taking all possible measures in this regard, and anticipate future operational adjustments to meet our obligations.

Grateful thanks to each and every Board member for their perseverance and determination in their oversight of the organisation. It is a sometimes tedious job, sometimes frustrating, but at the end of the day always rewarding – so thank you all for your confidence in our future.

This year we welcomed three new Board members and said Good bye to our long standing Treasurer Dominic De Vries. Thank you Dominic for your work on our behalf. Our new Board member Russell Imaoka will now assume the Treasurer’s role.

Board activities included:

  • A Governance Workshop facilitated by Business Mapping Solutions to review and develop Governance procedures for future planning for the organisation
  • Adoption of the 2019 – 24 Strategic Plan
  • Review and assessment of the Risk Management Plan
  • Adoption of a Restructure process for the organisation
  • Lease Agreement for 377 Mulgrave Road to 30 June 2021
  • Building signage
  • Attendance at the National Network of Volunteer Resources Services Forum, Melbourne 1-2 April 2019
  • Attendance at the Better Boards Conference, Brisbane

Thank you to Oni Vuniyaro for attending to the day to day activities of the organisation, and to William Kolln who has persevered in his IT role in the face of great personal challenges, we thank you sincerely.

As mentioned previously our volunteer staff are the cement that glues FNQVI together, they turn up rain or shine to keep the wheels turning. We have achieved so much due to their hard work and commitment. Our membership has grown and activities increased, we can confidently go forward knowing that our staff are there to respond to our challenges and celebrate our wins.

Thank you everyone for your contributions, we acknowledge and appreciate the countless hours given freely to make FNQVI a happy, thriving place to be.

Annette Sheppard


Far North Queensland Volunteers Inc.

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