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.
If you would like to become a volunteer, click here.
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.
Together with his wife Anne, they have three daughters, two grandsons and a granddaughter. Chris loves spending time with his family, growing a large variety of orchids and finds his volunteering activities fulfilling and rewarding.
He hopes to engender a strong team culture within the Board and the broader West Welcome Wagon community. His greatest wish in volunteering is to provide hope to the many people that we support.
Chris has been on the board since 2019.
Julie Nguyen - Treasurer
Julie has been volunteering with WWW since 2022. Julie was impacted when she saw the statistics regarding the sheer volume of necessities provided by WWW and the number of families who are touched by our work.
Having refugee parents who fled Vietnam, she admires all the volunteers who put in countless hours for a cause that’s very close to home. Julie’s hope is that WWW continues to provide valuable support for many families and individuals for years to come.
Julie has been on the board since February 2023.
Wendy Grimston - Company Secretary
Wendy has been volunteering with West Welcome Wagon since 2017. Wendy’s specialty areas include change, communications, and strategy. Wendy is also a member of the volunteer Australia Committee of the Change Management Institute and provides pro bono mentoring and coaching services around change and communications.
As well as her Board role with West Welcome Wagon, Wendy supports our Donations program working with a small team to respond to emails offering donations from our generous donors. She also assists with our Christmas and Education drives and is part of our Saturday morning team at the warehouse.
Wendy has been on the Board since 2020.
Candice McGregor - Director
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 supporting local initiatives, sustainability and social justice. She joined West Welcome Wagon in August 2014 and has been heavily involved in the operations ever since, across a number of roles within the organisation.
Candice was appointed our inaugural CEO in May 2017. After juggling volunteer CEO, full time work and 2 young children during COVID, she stepped down as CEO in June 2021 but rejoined the Board.
Calum Stewart is risk and compliance analytics specialist with over 12 years of professional services experience across external audit, internal audit, legal and regulatory investigations and direct consulting engagements.
Calum migrated to Melbourne from the UK in 2014, after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant and is now very happily settled in Melbourne's West.
Calum has been a West Welcome Wagon Board Member since November 2023.
Jessie Mitchell - Director
Jessie Mitchell lives in Newport with her young family and brings her experiences from working in state government as an executive, and fifteen years in international engagement roles within higher education.
Highly experienced in partnerships and international engagement, Jessie previously led the Multicultural Affairs Policy team in the Victorian government with oversight of complex partnerships and reforms regarding language services, the governance of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Victoria’s settlement and humanitarian policy. Before that, Jessie led the South and Southeast Asia International Engagement function for two years in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, with leadership of the India Strategy.
Jessie has been on the board since November 2023.
Catherine Ryan - Director
Catherine is as a Teacher Librarian with many years experience working in the library sector in media, university and school libraries. She has taught at both secondary schools and university and was the co-instigator of the Williamstown Literary Festival.
Catherine has worked with refugees in some way or another since the 1980s starting with home-tutoring Vietnamese refugees. She volunteered with AMES Settlement services before joining with West Welcome Wagon over 8 years ago and has been coordinating the Education Essentials program since 2018.
Kirsten Smith - Director
Kirsten Smith is a seasoned Corporate Governance Advisor, with dual Australian/South African nationality. She brings extensive experience in governance, risk management, and strategic oversight, specialising in the ASX, ASIC, and non-profit sectors. As a principal consultant at Governance in Focus, Kirsten has excelled in delivering tailored governance solutions, demonstrating her strong analytical and strategic skills in navigating complex regulatory landscapes.
Her board appointments include significant roles where she has actively engaged in strategic planning and policy formulation, notably as a Member of the Board of Directors for Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). Living in Melbourne's west, she embodies a commitment to community and social responsibility, aligning her personal and professional life with the values of equity and social justice.
Kirsten has been on the board since November 2023.
Colette is a seasoned leader known for her expertise in governance, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement. With a career spanning financial inclusion, international development, and community empowerment, she has a proven track record of delivering measurable impact. As the inaugural CEO of a financial inclusion foundation and Country Director for an international NGO, Colette successfully navigated complex operating environments to drive meaningful change.
Colette’s inclusive leadership style has consistently translated into tangible improvements in people’s lives, making her a respected figure in the realm of social impact and community development.
Colette was appointed CEO in June 2023.
Jude Twyman - Warehouse Manager
Jude Twyman was born in Telegraph Point NSW and has lived and worked in Sydney and the Northern Territory. Completing a Diploma of Business, then performing 10 years of logistics and warehouse management roles plus running a small business. Moved to Melbourne with wife Bettina and Son Leo in 2017. Jude loves being a foodie, coffee connoisseur, building Lego with Leo and is a big Doctor Who fan. He is proud to work for an organisation that provides material aid and comfort for asylum seekers and values working with the team of volunteers, the board and the clients from our community.