The Volunteer Advisory Committee

on 31 Jul 2016 

The Volunteer Advisory Committee (VAC) is comprised of (7) self-nominated, Bush Heritage elected members, representing each region, Health Safety and Environment, Youth Engagement, Corporate Volunteering, Governance and Science and Research. The Volunteer Advisory Committee's primary outcomes are to ensure volunteer input into the quality management of the volunteer program and assisting in the development of new, inspiring and diverse volunteer roles within Bush Heritage.

We'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Volunteer Advisory Committee members who have been developing program policies and new opportunities to further expand volunteer engagement.


Nicky Rolls, North Region Representative

Nicky is a Physiotherapist and cycling enthusiast who has held a passion for animals and the environment since she was a child. Discovering Bush Heritage has enabled her to purposefully contribute towards environmental protection and management through physical and financial means and she has volunteered in the field since 2007. "Serving on the VAC is another way I can contribute towards the success of an organisation whose environmental goals and aspirations ring true to my heart and the VAC will hopefully enable me to assist in harnessing the enthusiasm and skills of many more potential volunteers".


Karolee Wolcott, South East Region Representative

Karolee and her husband Bob, retired from the land in 2001 after owning and operating sheep/fine wool properties in Bingara NSW, Richmond, Queensland and Hamilton, Victoria. "The highlight of our retirement has been our voluntary work for Bush Heritage Australia, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Birds Australia".  During the last fifteen years, Karolee and Bob have volunteered on fourteen Reserves and re-visited these unique properties twenty-six times. During her time in Victoria, Karolee represented Australian Women in Agriculture at the UN General Assembly Special Session for "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the 21st century". My project with the VAC is focused is the UN Sustainable Development “Goal 15” – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. As a part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee, I will be able to use these experiences to benefit Bush Heritage and its many volunteers".   


John Adams, West Region Representative

John worked as a woolclasser and managed shearing teams throughout the agricultural areas of Western Australia and became the State Woolsampling Inspector for the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industry. John finished his career working within TAFE at the Murdoch Campus with the Horticultural, Landscape and Land Management students and apprentices. He has volunteered across the Western Region inclusive of roles on Gondwana, Eurady, Charles Darwin and Hamelin Reserves to undertake infrastructure maintenance, surveys and monitoring and revegetation projects. John has volunteered for a diverse number of organisations throughout his life. "I have found all the organisations that I have been involved in rewarding and to be able to help make a difference and achieve good outcomes gives me the satisfaction that my experience can be used in other areas". 


Trish Macdonald, Science and Research Representative 

Trish has been a Bush Heritage volunteer for over 10 years and has been financially supporting Bush Heritage since the very early years believing strongly in alternatives to government-managed conservation. Trish has been a guide, teacher, park ranger, conservation officer, ecologist, heritage officer, conservation policy officer and was the Station Leader at Macquarie Island prior to retirement. "My motivation for joining the VAC is to see Bush Heritage and the Volunteer Program create the best possible value in terms of conservation outcomes as a well designed volunteer program will produce a sum (effective conservation), much greater than the individual endeavours of the organisation alone".


Grant Duthie, Youth Representative

Grant is an avid writer and a proud Queenslander by birth. He works as an Analyst at NAB and has worked in diverse operations including Environmental Sustainability. In 2015, he completed an economics degree at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. He also spent time in Seoul and Hong Kong where he studied the influence of Asia-Pacific cultures on Australia’s economic and social environment. Grant is currently studying Environmental Law at Melbourne University. He is passionate about developing innovative approaches to managing environmental and economic challenges to afford human development. In 2016, Grant joined the Bush Heritage Australia Volunteer Advisory Committee as a Youth Representative to encourage more participation among young volunteers. He is looking forward to supporting youth volunteering projects to engage more young people in conservation and the work of Bush Heritage.


Justin Kell, Health, Safety and Environment Representative  

Justin has been involved as a volunteer with Bush Heritage since 2006 and has volunteered on Boolcoomatta, Eurady, Nardoo Hills, Tarcutta Hills, Burrin Burrin, Yourka and volunteers throughout the year at Scottsdale Reserve in diverse activities including plantings, bird surveys, rabbit warren patrols and in most recent months as a Volunteer Team Leader on a fence removal program. Justin is a registered Surveyor and is a founding Director of a successful land development consultancy and takes work, health & safety seriously having implemented rigorous systems to be compliant for government contracts and legislation. "Being on the inaugural Bush Heritage Volunteer Advisory Committee is an excellent opportunity to continue on my path of increased responsibility with Bush Heritage and to contribute my experience in remote safety protocols". 


Steve Myrteza, Governance and Corporate Volunteering Representative

Steve has worked in large international corporations for the past 20 years in a cross section of roles inclusive of system improvement, finance, business development and currently holds a senior role as a Governance Manager. He has extensive volunteer experience in both international and Australian not-for-profit organisations including Business Development volunteering in Ghana for the DFAT, Landcare, Australian Red Cross and writing policy papers for the Australian Greens party. "I have joined the VAC to offer my experience to strengthen the Volunteer Program's policies and processes".