Our volunteers drive our organisation. From our board to our helpers in the warehouse, we're almost entirely volunteer-run, and we're endlessly grateful for what they allow us to do. They pack hampers, make deliveries, talk to clients, organise fundraisers, and most of all, they make our community stronger by helping out those in it who are most in need. Our volunteers are too numerous to name, but thank you to everyone past and present who has played a part in making West Welcome Wagon what it is today.

"Life’s Most Persistent and Urgent Question Is, 'What Are You Doing for Others?'"

Martin Luther King, Jr

If you would like to become a volunteer, click here.

 

DSC_6257Candice McGregor - CEO & Secretary

Candice McGregor is an IT specialist with over 10 years experience in designing, developing and implementing IT solutions. Born a Westie, she is passionate about local initiatives and using information technology to improve processes and communication.

 

 

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Jessica Billimoria - General Committee Member

Jessica is a marketing communications specialist with 10 years experience working for government, non-profit and private sector corporations. Living in Melbourne's West, she is excited to play a role in the next phase for West Welcome Wagon.

DSC_6101Michelle Cooper - General Committee Member

Michelle was born in Footscray and raised in the inner West. With a career in quality, safety and environment, and the development of management systems, Michelle is excited to get involved in all aspects of the organisation's continued growth.

Olivia

Olivia Goodman - Board Chairperson

Olivia is a solicitor with over 15 years experience in government and health law. Her strong commitment to community and social justice has led to roles in organisations such as Edmund Rice Camps Inc and Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre Inc. Originally from Tasmania, she is now proud to call 'the West' home.

Crystal Penaluna - General Committee Member

Crystal is a qualified and experienced Project Manager and Commercial Manager/Analyst with 15 years experience managing large remote teams and development and oversight of multi-million dollar budgets within the engineering consulting industry. Crystal is passionate in creating efficiencies and practical solutions to further improve and expand our support to local Asylum Seekers. An Inner West local of 10 years, Crystal is committed to sustainable living and has a strong sense of social justice.

DSC_6075Chris Scerri - Business Development Manager

Chris Scerri grew up in West Sunshine after migrating here from Malta in 1963. He graduated from University of Melbourne as an Electrical Engineer and enjoyed careers with Telstra (20 years) and Siemens/Nokia/Coriant (16 years) in a variety of Engineering, Sales and Management roles. Chris is also President of an orchid club and loves growing a large variety of orchids. Together with his wife Anne, they have three daughters, a granddaughter and a grandson. Chris loves spending time with his family and finds his volunteering activities fulfilling and rewarding. He hopes to engender a strong team culture within his team and the broader West Welcome Wagon community. His greatest wish in volunteering is to provide hope to the many people that we support.

 

 

headshot2Jake Watson - Media & Communications Manager

Jake is a writer and keen traveller with an interest in world events and a passion for refugee rights. He is a strong supporter of the right to seek asylum and badly wants to see Australia greatly improve its treatment of refugees. Jake has joined WWW in the hopes of helping such people.

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Roland Wahlquist - Human Resources Manager

Roland spent his working life in the wine industry. A qualified winemaker, he worked in the Hunter Valley, Coonawarra and McLaren Vale before joining Brown Brothers. In 25 years there he moved from being Chief Winemaker to Chief Executive Officer. After retiring in 2016 his first volunteer role was Marketing Manager for Cathy McGowan MHR in her successful re-election campaign. Relocating to the western suburbs of Melbourne, Roland joined West Welcome Wagon as the Human Resources Manager. A passionate believer in multiculturalism, he is keen to do what he can to assist asylum seekers.

 

We acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable assistance and relationships that we have with a
number of other organisations.

In addition to the Case Management agencies - Life Without Barriers, AMES and Red Cross - that provide our referrals and with whom we work with on a regular basis we also have special, ongoing relationships with other community groups and organisations.

community connections
Photo: Vicky Palmieri

Our Community Relationships include:

  • Bendigo Bank Seddon Community Branch
  • The Department of Justice and Regulation
  • Friends of Refugees
  • Friends of Refugees Melbourne (FORM)
  • Hobsons Bay Refugee Network (HBRN)
  • Village Real Estate Newport

For all of these organisations, and for all of our valued friends, supporters and colleagues, we are deeply grateful.