Who We Are

Volunteering NQ is a leading Volunteer Resource Centre, connecting individual, corporate and groups of volunteers with great volunteer opportunities. 

We also provide training for volunteer managers and community organisations to strengthen the not-for-profit sector and networking events for the NFP, Business and Government sectors provide a platform for value adding relationships to be developed.

Our services are available in Townsville and expanding to Ingham, Charters Towers and the Burdekin.


Marie-Claude Brown 300 x 300
Jacqui Bekker 190 x 190
Cayley Downey 190 x 190

Marie-Claude held roles in project management, stakeholder relations and community development for the corporate mining sector for 10 years. During that time, she was seconded to the community of Townsville for a period of four years to deliver a World Health Organisation (WHO) program on injury prevention, in collaboration with the local community and the health sector. She has also worked for the State Government. Department of Local Government.

As the Townsville Chamber CEO from 2009 to 2020, Marie-Claude was the advocate for 200 businesses impacted by the redevelopment of Townsville’s CBD, a 2-year $56 Million infrastructure project. She helped re-build the Chamber from the inside out, overseeing all aspects of the business including financial viability, brand development, stakeholder relations, advocacy, media, and operations.

Marie-Claude has lived and worked in Canada, the United States, France, Belgium and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Magna Cum Laude (‘With Great Distinction’), from San Jose State University in California, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Major in Community Development, Dean’s List, from James Cook University in Townsville.

Email Marie-Claude at advisor@vnq.org.au  

A proud North Queensland local, Jacqui has performed a variety of roles primarily within the media sector. 

Joining VNQ in September 2020, Jacqui oversaw the administrative operation of the VNQ office and is now embracing her new position of Manager. 

Jacqui is passionate about North Queensland and committed to the delivery of VNQ’s mission as the primary resource for volunteers and volunteer managers within our region.

Jacqui looks forward to assisting you with your volunteering requirements, both in your capacity as a volunteer or a volunteering manager.

Email Jacqui at manager@vnq.org.au 

Originally from the northern suburbs of Brisbane, Cayley moved to Townsville in 1989 and continued her role as a legal administrator.

For over 30 years, Cayley has enjoyed a diverse range of legal, administrative and financial positions within the Townsville Community, including many as a volunteer for local sporting clubs/associations and, in particular, as President  of Unlock the Lachs.

Since 2000, Cayley’s administration roles specialised in Conveyancing for the legal profession and as a self-employed bookkeeper and accounts administrator.

Cayley is an avid advocate and strong believer of inclusivity in our local community and is excited to join the VNQ team to provide support and a one-stop resource for all volunteer stakeholders.

Email Cayley at training@vnq.org.au 

Management Committee

Margie Ryder, commonly known as “Mad Maggies”,is what some call the little pocket Dynamo. Under Margie’s stewardship, the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival was awarded Queensland Best Festival / Event at the Tourism Queensland awards and was also Highly Commended at the Australian Tourism Awards.
Margie has spent over 10 years as a Councillor, numerous years as a volunteer in various roles and has overseen the HR and finance arm of their family engineering business, which now employs 27 people locally. She is the Townsville City Council’s elected representative for Division 1. Margie’s sometimes unruly way of getting sponsorship or networking has worked in her favour, but her passion for the volunteer sector is what drives her. without Volunteers NOTHING happens.

Zinnia Karl 190 x 190

Born in Gisborne, New Zealand and raised in Melbourne, Zinnia is proud to have called Townsville home for 10 years.

Growing up and studying in Melbourne to then move to Sydney at 19yr to start her career in corporate finance, giving Zinnia the opportunity to live in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.

With a calling to serve her country, Zinnia enlisted with the Australian Army. This career change saw Zinnia again travelling for work, being posted to Mornington Peninsula, Darwin and Townsville.

Settling in Townsville, Zinnia has established herself into the community by raising a family and running a family owned pool company, with a focus of employing Townsville locals, investing in local businesses and contributing to local community events, such as Light the Night for Leukemia Foundation.

Volunteering and community service in Townsville is a passion for Zinnia, previously volunteering as a Treasurer for the Townsville Toy Library and ongoing at Calvary Christian College in their agricultural centre. Zinnia has seen first-hand the benefits that volunteering can bring to the community.

As a committed community member, Zinnia brings her unique leadership skills and ability to engage with the local community to Volunteering North Queensland and hopes to provide an opportunity for volunteers to gain new skills and contribute to the overall enrichment of the Townsville community.

Emily Sehu 2020 190 x 190

Emily, born in Malaysia, arrived in Australia for her tertiary education in 1996. Being of Malaysian Chinese decent, is fluent in various languages and dialects including English, Bahasa Malaysia, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien and has previously studied Spanish and beginners Nepali. Emily currently holds the position as the Deputy General Counsel of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Prior to moving in-house, Emily was in private legal practice in Australia and overseas specialising in Intellectual Property and litigation. Since arriving in Townsville in 2008, Emily has been involved in various community events as a volunteer including Townsville’s Christmas event, Stable on the Strand, as organiser of the Preview Night for various years, undertaking administration tasks and assisting with guest artists. Emily has also volunteered to assist members of the community with odd jobs in their homes through the Neighbour to Neighbour initiative by the Combined Churches of Townsville. Emily regularly volunteers in church and supports community events such as the AIMS Open Day, Walk for Freedom A21 campaign and various Townsville theatre groups by attending local productions. Emily appreciates the importance of the volunteer sector and volunteering as a very effective way to assimilate and contribute to the community. Emily’s professional role equips her with skills for building teams and providing leadership.

Trayeden 190x190 for web

Trayeden is a Townsville born and bred local, currently completing Year 12 at Ryan Catholic College. As a fulltime student Trayeden has held numerous employment opportunities in Sales, Customer Service and Business Administration fields. Throughout these roles he has developed extensive communication and networking skills with a keen interest in helping others.

Trayeden enjoys supporting his local community through volunteering roles with 5 years volunteering as a rugby league match official, as well as assisting in numerous volunteer capacity through school commitments. His most significant contribution and proudest achievement in the volunteering community was noticed in his integral support following the devastation of the 2019 Townsville floods. As a 15 year old school student, Trayeden was able to use his leadership and coordination skills to organise a volunteer army of approximately 60 volunteers, which assisted in the clean-up and recovery efforts of approximately 150-200 homes in the most affected suburbs of Townsville. For his contributions he was acknowledged locally, regionally and at a state level, receiving numerous nominations and awards for his volunteer accomplishments.

Trayeden feels extremely privileged to have the honour to form part of the VNQ management committee and has high hopes to engage and empower young people across the region to engage in volunteer opportunities.

Patricia Ross - 190 x 190

For 35 years Patricia was employed as a Private Secretary in four different countries, i.e. New Zealand, England, Zimbabwe and Australia.  In Townsville she established a Secretarial Service in 1990 which operated through to 1995.  The business involved minute taking, resumes, job applications and selection criteria.  She was invited to become a part-time Training and Development Officer with Thuringowa Job Training Centre in 1992.  This followed with employment at TAFE in both Home Hill and Townsville as a Business Studies and Information Technology teacher from 1995 to 2000.  From 2001 to 2013 Patricia owned and operated a 28 room motel and 40 powered site caravan park in Normanton, hosting workers, tourists, tour buses and ‘grey nomads’. Patricia is now retired and resides at Toomulla Beach.


Coming soon…

Ernie Bunt - 190 x 190

Born in Emerald, Queensland, Ernie completed Primary school there and some Secondary school at North Rockhampton High. He has held various jobs over the years including tradesman in the Railway and 20 years in the Service Industry finishing as a Regional Manager for P&O Services with a budget of $12-15 million. He has also spent 10 years in the Youth Welfare System and 25 years in the Scout Movement, of which the last 20 years has been as Regional Commissioner and a member of the State Management.


Our services are proudly delivered by a growing, skilled, diverse and enthusiastic team of 20+ volunteers!  

Our Commitment to Volunteers

Volunteers engage in activities that make a meaningful contribution to organisational goals.

Volunteers enjoy working in a social and inclusive working environment.  

Volunteers have opportunities to contribute existing and develop new skills.

Inspiring a community rich in volunteers and volunteering!

VNQ's 2021 Training Initiative is

VNQ is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Visit www.dss.gov.au for more information.