Governor General New Chief Patron of Volunteering Australia
20 October 2016 at 11:23 am
Volunteering Australia (VA) has secured Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) as its new chief patron.
VA president Tim Jackson said the VA board was delighted the governor general had accepted the role of chief patron.
“It is an absolute honour for VA to be accepted for patronage by his excellency and to be recognised as an organisation with national significance,” Jackson said.
“This is an endorsement of the importance of volunteering and recognition that volunteering makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy and society.
“We are excited about working with the governor general to advance volunteering in the Australian community, while continuing to acknowledge and celebrate the generous service of our nation’s volunteers.”
The governor general is currently patron of more than 150 charities and not-for-profit organisations.
VA thanked former patron Margaret Bell for her service to VA. Bell is the founding president of Volunteering Australia and the past world president of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) She is currently the president of the Chain Reaction Foundation and CEO of the Mt Druitt Learning Ground.
“It is with great regret that VA has accepted Margaret Bell’s resignation as VA’s patron. VA expresses its deepest thanks to Margaret for her significant contribution to VA, as well as her ongoing commitment to strengthening volunteering in Australia,” Jackson said.
Outgoing CEO of VA, Brett Williamson told Pro Bono Australia News that from the organisation’s perspective it is delighted the governor general had taken on the newly created position of chief patron which was a great reflection on what volunteering means to the wellbeing of the nation.
“We will be looking now at inviting and appointing other patrons or ambassadors… looking at various leaders and well respected people within the community across a broad range of activities to become our ambassadors,” Williamson said.
In September Williamson, who has held the position for three years, advised of his intention to resign as CEO of VA, effective 1 December 2016, to return home to Queensland to spend time with his family on a permanent basis.
Williamson said at the time he had “mixed feelings” about the move, but it had been an “absolute privilege to be part of a team so totally committed to growing volunteering and civic participation in Australia”.
He said Thursday an announcement about his replacement is expected soon.
“It’s been a very exhaustive process and great candidates and I know the selection panel has been meeting regularly and hopefully we will make an announcement certainly before the the World Volunteering Conference which is being held in Mexico in early November.”