Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards Past Winners


2018 Award Winners

The winners of the 2018 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards were awarded for their significant contribution to their not-for-profit organisation and the community sector. The winners were announced by the former Commissioner of the ACNC, Susan Pascoe AM, at a function in Sydney on September 18, 2018.

Download the 2018 Enhancing Financial Literacy Booklet (PDF 538kb)

Congratulations to the 2018 winners:

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson, Balmain Rowing Club, NSW

Balmain Rowing Club's motto is 'Rowing for all'. The Club has 13 year-old rowers, 75 year-old rowers, para rowers and everyone in between. The club, like its wooden boat shed, is 136 years old in 2018 and we think of it as small but beautiful.

Mark was lured back into rowing after a 25 year break and has been the Honorary Treasurer for the past 3 years. He says that the 5 a.m. starts in winter were a great reason to have a 25 year break.

Mark's full-time role is as the National Operations Director of Amelie Housing, the community housing arm of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Part of Mark's job is to analyse financial trends and as a result, make good financial decisions and he brings this to Balmain Rowing Club via smarter management and meaningful reporting.

"When members of the committee said that they wanted to enter me for this award, I said no way. But when they said the club would be entitled to $5,000, I said do your worst, and they must have! I am very honoured to receive this award."


Suzana Vlahovic

Suzana Vlahovic, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Victoria

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is an independent Not-for-Profit organisation, whose programs support and empower people seeking asylum. The ASRC has grown significantly from its inception as a grass roots organisation to today the largest independent human rights organisation for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.

Suzana is Treasurer and a Board Director of the ASRC since December 2017. Suzana was motivated to join the ASRC, as she is a daughter of parents who migrated to Australia, and she has a genuine passion for people, human rights, and promoting diversity and inclusion.

Suzana is an Audit Partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the world's largest professional services firm. She has employed her accounting background and experience to build the maturity of the finance function, the capability of the finance committee and strengthen financial governance. As the ASRC continues to grow, Suzana is looking forward to executing on the organisation's finance function roadmap of which she led the development.

"I am delighted to be receiving this award as Treasurer of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). I am privileged to work with such inspiring people at the ASRC and I look forward to continuing our great momentum in finance."


Tony McCartney

Tony McCartney, Ilbijeri Theatre Company, Victoria

Tony has worked in Aboriginal Affairs for over 40 years in numerous roles in youth, housing, employment and health including senior executive and directorship roles in local regional and national Aboriginal organisations. He has a passion for good governance and leadership. He enjoys assisting organisations to meet their goals and spends a lot of his time mentoring individuals who are wanting to develop successful careers. Tony has taught financial programs in the Not-for-Profit sector and introductory business courses in First Nations communities.

Tony has advocated for his people at local, state, national and international forums. He is committed to working to provide support to the community for better outcomes and holds a number of governance roles in Aboriginal Health, Junior Football, Aboriginal Theatre and Early Learning.

"I'm passionate about supporting my community to achieve better outcomes in housing, education, health and employment. I find it rewarding to contribute to my community and see new ideas come from inception through to fruition and success."


Jane Reilly

Jane Reilly, YWCA NSW, NSW

YWCA NSW was established in 1880 with a focus on supporting, educating and providing safe harbour for women, and today it is on the frontline for improving gender equality and eliminating violence against women. In June 2018, YWCA NSW became part of a national entity, YWCA Australia which achieves positive change by providing advocacy, programs and services for women, families and communities.

Jane Reilly is a senior audit partner at PwC, Treasurer of the Board of YWCA NSW and Chair of Finance Committee, overseeing the NFP program delivery and hotel/hospitality businesses; she was also Chair of Property Advisory Group which oversaw a significant investment in our major hotel adding much needed funding; a staunch supporter of numerous fundraising and branding opportunities; champion of pro bono support through professional contacts and partnering.

"It has been a pleasure to work with an incredibly generous and talented Board of unique Australian women and to support the bold and committed staff at YWCA and the amazing work they do. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to improving the lives of Australian women and girls, and I am honoured and humbled to receive this award."


2017 Award Winners

The 2017 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards comprised of two categories to allow a celebration of all treasurers across the nation, as well as an opportunity for community treasurers to contribute their practical knowledge by sharing a financial resource that they have created.

The response to the 2017 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards was incredible. We received almost 1400 submissions, and once again, we were blown away by the inspiring and glowing endorsements of our community treasurers.

Download the 2017 Enhancing Financial Literacy Booklet (PDF 538kb)

The 2017 Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards were announced by the Commissioner of the ACNC, Susan Pascoe AM, at a function in Sydney on September 19, 2017. The three winners were selected for the financial resources (a financial policy, a financial template and a financial webinar) that they shared that will help other organisations improve their financial management and literacy. The best entry in each category was chosen to win a $5,000 donation for their not-for-profit group.

Congratulations to the 2017 winners:

Bruce Clarke

Bruce Clarke, Melbourne Mustangs Ice Hockey Club, Victoria

The Melbourne Mustangs compete in the Australian Ice Hockey League. Although the team competes at a national league level, all positions at the Club are unpaid and the players are amateurs.

Bruce commenced as Honorary Treasurer of the Mustangs at the start of 2017. He found the role advertised on a volunteers portal and saw it as an excellent way to put something back to the local community and help young people achieve their sporting dreams.

Bruce has been able to apply many of the skills from his full-time role as CFO of the Moonee Valley Racing Club to benefit his role as Treasurer of the Mustangs. He views his role as more than just a typical treasurer. As well as performing all of the usual reporting duties, he has prepared and implemented a range of technology strategies to ensure continued financial strength, checks and balances.

"I am thrilled to win this Award on behalf of the Melbourne Mustangs. The prizemoney will be well-used in helping our amateur team compete in the national competition."


Sinead Glennon

Sinead Glennon, Genetic and Rare Disease Network, Western Australia

The Genetic and Rare Disease Network improves the lives of families affected by genetic and rare diseases and works to connect, inform, support and empower them.

The idea of skills-based volunteering with a worthwhile charity appealed to Sinead so she applied for a role with the Genetic and Rare Disease Network through Our Community's Board Matching service. This is her first time undertaking the role of Treasurer for a not-for-profit group and she is really enjoying the responsibility and workload.

She has found that her accounting background and expertise is extremely beneficial to performing the role and informed her thinking about the difficulty faced by treasurers who are performing the role without any accounting knowledge or expertise. For this reason, she has designed various tools for not-for-profit treasurers that help them better achieve financial sustainability and safe practices.

"I am thrilled to be a recipient of this Award. I am excited that my submission has been so well received and I hope it continues to be of use to other treasurers, especially those who find the financial analysis aspect of their role to be daunting."


Kaveen Bachoo

Kaveen Bachoo, Hepatitis Queensland, Queensland

Hepatitis Queensland, the peak body and central voice for liver health in the Sunshine State is a not-for-profit, community organisation dedicated to improving health and social outcomes for Queenslanders affected by, or at risk of viral hepatitis and liver disease.

As Treasurer and Head of the Finance & Audit Committee, Kaveen employs his practical experience from various roles with BHP Billiton, Xstrata and now Glencore to passionately drive the financial strategy of Hepatitis Queensland with a particular focus on prudent management of accounts, cost control and sophisticated reporting to support Hepatitis Queensland's core activities.

He looks forward to continuing to give back to his community and considers it an honour, a privilege and a joy to be involved with Hepatitis Queensland at every level: Treasurer, volunteer and supporter.

"I feel very privileged to be receiving this award - thank you. It is a gratifying experience to use my knowledge and passion about finance and steer Hepatitis Queensland (HQ) in its journey of financial sustainability."


2016 Award Winners

The 2016 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards comprised of two categories to allow a celebration of all treasurers across the nation, as well as an opportunity for community treasurers to contribute their knowledge and ideas around key challenges they have handled.

The response to the 2016 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards was incredible. We were blown away by the inspiring and glowing endorsements of our community treasurers.

Download 2016 Commonwealth Bank Treasurers' Awards Booklet (PDF 1.7mb)

The 2016 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards were announced by the Commissioner of the ACNC, Susan Pascoe AM, at a function in Sydney on September 20, 2016. The three winners were selected for the wisdom that they shared in identifying ideas around recruiting and retaining treasurers, keeping treasurers up-to-date and sharing changes which they implemented to make things easier for their organisation based on challenges they had experienced. The three best entries were chosen to win a $5,000 donation for their not-for-profit group.

Congratulations to the 2016 winners:

Kathryn Harrison

Kathryn Harrison, Grow, Queensland

Kathryn is the treasurer of Grow, a national organisation that provides community-based peer support group programs for adults and young people with mental health needs. Weekly meetings are free to attend, non-denominational and anonymous, and there are no diagnosis or eligibility requirements.

She has served for more than 25 years on boards and committees of not-for-profit organisations including the Queensland Council of Social Service and Toowoomba's Young Women's Place, and now Grow. Grow will celebrate 60 years of community service next year and operates almost 200 groups covering every state and territory.

"I've always believed there is value in sharing knowledge and it's great that this approach is supported and encouraged by Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards."


Paul Beanland

Paul Beanland, Highgate Early Learning Centre, Victoria

Paul has been treasurer at Highgate since September 2015. He sees his role as assisting the committee and staff in managing Highgate's finances to provide high quality care and education to the children at the best possible price for local families. To help ensure the sustainability of the centre, Paul focuses on policies and procedures and tries to provide "more for less" to optimise and protect the finances.

Away from Highgate, Paul has 17 years of experience in business and finance. He is Principal of Ashthorn Corporate Advisory, where he provides corporate finance advice and transactional services to not-for-profit and commercial clients across a variety of sectors including aged care, healthcare and childcare.

"The award is fantastic for Highgate! We plan to use the prize to purchase new equipment and upgrade our play areas to further enhance the experience for the children. On a personal level, I am passionate about finance and enjoy sharing my expertise to help organisations ensure their sustainability, and so I am honoured to be recognised for my efforts."


Belinda Knight

Belinda Knight, Hotham Marouka Ski Club, Victoria

Marouka Lodge, a ski lodge at Mount Hotham, Victoria, was built in the 1970s by members of Hotham Marouka Ski Club Inc. Belinda has served as club treasurer since 2009. She focuses on ensuring that the lodge is run sustainably and provides an accessible, comfortable and friendly environment at an economical price to members and the broader public.

Belinda attributes her success in the treasurer's role to her professional accounting skills and having the support of committee members.

"This award reinforces to me that I am a member of a passionate, supportive and community based club that provides great value to its members."


2015 Award Winners

The response to the 2015 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards was overwhelming. We received more than 1100 submissions, accompanied by inspiring and glowing endorsements of our community treasurers.

Download Commonwealth Bank Treasurers' Awards Booklet 2015 (PDF 1.3mb)

The winners of the 2015 Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards were announced by the Treasurer for NSW, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, at a function in Sydney on May 14, 2015. The three winners, selected for the wisdom they shared in their ideas to tackle barriers facing community treasurers, were each presented with a certificate, a $5000 cheque for their organisation, and an iPad for themselves.

More than 1100 nominations were received for the 2015 awards, highlighting just how valued Australia's community treasurers are. This year's awards were broken into two categories:

  • PART A: Members of the community were invited to show their treasurer how much they appreciate their contribution by nominating them to receive an official 2015 Not-for-profit Treasurers' Award Certificate of Appreciation.
  • PART B: Treasurers themselves were urged to spread their wisdom by identifying barriers to doing their work better, and provide ideas for removing them.

Congratulations to the 2015 winners:

Whitney Boyle

Whitney Boyle, Mallee Neighbourhood House Network, Victoria

The Mallee Neighbourhood House Network supports the 13 neighbourhood houses in the northern region of Victoria. The network employs one part-time coordinator; in addition, the houses work together voluntarily. Whitney has served as the network's treasurer for three years. When she took on the role she had no financial training or experience whatsoever, and had never used MYOB (the network's software). Whitney is the part-time manager of one of the network's neighbourhood houses, which all work to create inclusive, supportive and vibrant communities. Her approach to being an effective treasurer is to be open and honest with the organisation's members. She aims to be approachable so that committee members feel comfortable to ask the tough questions.

"It is humbling and inspiring to be a representative of the thousands of not-for-profit treasurers in Australia and to have the responses provided in the award application considered seriously by Our Community and the Commonwealth Bank."


Rhonda Doyle

Rhonda Doyle, Central Coast Kids in Need, NSW

Rhonda has served as the treasurer of Central Coast Kids In Need for 12 years. The organisation provides assistance with accommodation expenses to families of children with cancer or other prolonged illnesses while in Sydney or Newcastle hospitals. Prior to taking up the role of treasurer, Rhonda had no previous experience as a treasurer. She was taught how to do the role by the outgoing treasurer, and is also blessed by having a friendly neighbour who checks her books monthly to make sure they're correct and backed up. A self-professed one-finger typist, Rhonda spends at least two hours a day carrying out her duties as treasurer.

"As a volunteer treasurer I rely upon my relationship with and assistance from staff at our local branch of the Commonwealth Bank and upon assistance from the Board and Committee of Central Coast Kids In Need. To win this prestigious award means we are all doing something right."


Samantha Winter

Samantha Winter, Women's Health in the North, Victoria

Samantha has been Treasurer for Women's Health in the North (WHIN) Inc. since mid-2013. A chartered accountant by training, Samantha is the first qualified accountant to serve in this role at WHIN. Key tasks have been to bring financial rigour and processes into WHIN by applying an accountant's lens to the role of financial governance. In her day job, Samantha is a senior manager, overseeing a budget of more than $180 million. She seeks to apply the same rigour to her voluntary role as a treasurer as she does to her paid role.

"This is great news for Women's Health In the North - we look forward to putting the prize money towards a program to improve the financial literacy of migrant women. From a personal perspective, I am humbled that my financial skills are being recognised as adding value to my organisation and I strongly believe that all not-for-profit organisations should have access to these skills."


2012 Award Winners

Cameron Smith, Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland (MIFQ), Queensland

Cameron has used the Finance, Human Resources and Risk Management Committee, which he chairs, to inform, guide and protect the organisation through major changes in the form of a multi-million-dollar capital development. This has required him to co-ordinate legal, financial, and managerial oversight. He has tapped into major private donations and facilitated government grants. On the Board, he has advocated strongly for his positions while providing information impartially.
Winner: Large Organisations Category

Waheeda Bulladin, Islamic Womens' Welfare Association (IWWA), Lakemba, NSW

Waheeda computerised the accounts and established risk management protocols, training staff in best practice. She arranged for the organisation's constitution to be amended to entrench member control, and provides training to ensure staff and volunteers observe the group's declared values.
Winner: Medium Organisations Category

Anne-Maree Sullivan, Surf Coast Energy Group (SCEG), Surf Coast Shire, Victoria

Anne-Maree set up a full range of financial systems for a rapidly growing institution that had to handle customer invoices and account for public funds. She works on grant applications, builds fundraising product sales, organises in-kind donations and sponsorships from local businesses, and bakes cakes for public meetings. SCEG's diversified fundraising strategy exemplifies the recommendations of Our Community's "Six Pillars" fundraising framework, which involves fundraising through multiple channels to aid sustainability.
Winner: Small Organisations Category

Further Details

The 2012 awards announcement was made by Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong at the Board Builder Conference in Melbourne on November 30. Click here to read the media release.

All eligible nominees were issued with a certificate in December 2012 in recognition of the high esteem in which they are held.


2011 Awards

The winners of the 2011 Community Treasurers' Awards were announced by NSW Treasurer The Hon. Mike Baird at a cocktail function in Sydney on June 15, 2011.

Congratulations to:

Fran Galvin OAM Fran Galvin OAM
Treasurer, Community Living & Respite Services Inc., Campaspe, Victoria
Winner: Large Organisations Category
Carol Ross Carol Ross
Treasurer, KAGE dance-theatre company, Melbourne, Victoria
Winner: Medium Organisations Category
Peter Stevens Peter Stevens
Treasurer, Wolli Creek Preservation Society Inc., Sydney, NSW
Winner: Small Organisations Category

A total of 513 voluntary community treasurers were nominated for the 2011 awards, with nominations drawn from all over Australia and all corners of the community sector.

All nominees have been given a certificate in appreciation of their efforts, while the winners received a certificate, a trophy and a $5000 prize for their organisation.

Read on for more information about the 2011 winners, click here to read the media release or click here to download the 2011 tribute booklet.

Fran Galvin OAM, Treasurer, Community Living & Respite Services Inc.

Rapid growth can be a challenge for any organisation, but thanks to the stewardship of northern Victorian voluntary treasurer Fran Galvin, it has not proven troublesome for Community Living and Respite Services (CLRS).

The organisation works to provide quality, flexible, responsible and affordable services for carers, people with a disability, the aged and their families in the Shire of Campaspe, 200kms north of Melbourne.

Fran has been involved in the organisation since it began in 1979, signing up as a founding board member and treasurer.

CEO of CLRS, Suzanna Barry, says one of Fran's greatest achievements has been to ensure financial stability for the organisation amid a period of rapid growth. Annual income has increased from around $700,000 per annum in 2001 to a budgeted income of $5 million for 2011-12.

"The treasurer has shared her vast knowledge and experience and has contributed to systems development to keep ahead of growth," Suzanna says.

Another of Fran's great traits as treasurer is an ability to look through the numbers to see the people, an attitude that has helped to ensure that service provision remains paramount for CLRS.

"The treasurer has been an advocate for allocating resources to service provision, with less focus on the 'bricks and mortar' model that locks the organisation into inflexible supports," Suzanna says.

"Rather, she has been an advocate for a balance of leasing and ownership.

"The treasurer has encouraged management to think broadly, to challenge government and to develop programs to meet the changing needs of our service users.

"Fran has listened to the voices of families and people with disabilities in the community, which have been translated into new models" - for example, a new program to support the families of children impacted by Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Fran is clearly both a steadying and inspiring force on the board, and within the organisation. She promotes broad-thinking and an anything-is-possible attitude, Suzanna says.

"Her passion to assist people with disabilities and their families remains strong and focused."

Carol Ross, Treasurer, KAGE dance theatre company

Sometimes you need an old hand but at other times, it's fresh eyes that are required. That was the situation for Melbourne-based dance theatre company KAGE when Carol Ross joined the Board.

"Carol has brought to our attention numerous ways in which to improve our financial situation and it's largely thanks to her, and the support of the Board, that our next show, LOOK RIGHT THROUGH ME is going ahead and I am getting paid!" says KAGE General Manager Simone Collins.

Among the financial innovations that have emerged under Carol's watchful eye have been the introduction of a direct ticket payment system, an online donations facility and a soon-to-be-launched crowd source funded project.

Carol's instigation of a more holistic approach to fundraising has seen KAGE move from almost total reliance on precarious government arts funding to a situation where their most recent premiere season of SUNDOWNER, a dance-theatre work highlighting the experiences of people with dementia, had no government arts funding at all.

The premiere season was instead financed by contributions from the philanthropic sector, corporate sponsors, matched giving, in-kind support, private donors, earned income and a grant from the Department of Health and Ageing.

"We raised over $100,000 cash from new sources, plus even more in the form of in-kind support," Simone says.

"Working closely with KAGE's General Manager, Carol has established a private giving program for KAGE that reaches out to our strong supporter base with regular communication through social media.

"In addition, KAGE has undertaken a more strategic approach to developing potential donor relationships, with Carol taking the front foot by organising meetings with key stakeholders."

Carol's first task when she took up the role of treasurer was to cast a critical eye over the organisation's internal processes and financial procedures.

"This was a well-needed shake-up for the association and took bold leadership skills from Carol, especially as she was brand new to both the committee and to the role of treasurer. Carol threw herself in head-first," Simone says.

Carol overhauled the organisation's reporting framework and introduced systems that now provide a clearer view of KAGE's true financial position, both current and projected. This has laid the foundations for a vastly improved system of planning and resource allocation.

The result of Carol's work, a stronger and more vibrant dance-theatre company, demonstrates the transformative potential of a confident, engaged treasurer who has won the support of staff and board colleagues.

Peter Stevens, Treasurer, Wolli Creek Preservation Society Inc.

No voluntary treasurer's job is easy - but the job of the treasurer of an entirely volunteer-based organisation is perhaps the toughest of all.

There's no staff member to prepare the budgets or write the reports; no one else to write the cheques, take the deposits to the bank, file the receipts or acquit the grant - it's all down to you.

Not that anyone's complaining; at least, Peter Stevens isn't.

"Peter never grumbles or sighs when you hand him a bunch of receipts," says Ulrike Schnabel, who is a colleague of Peter's serving as Vice-President on the Wolli Creek Preservation Society committee.

Formed in 1984, the Society works to keep the Wolli and Bardwell Creek valleys in a natural condition. The organisation was formed with the aim of saving the Wolli Valley from motorway development. While remaining a volunteer-based organisation, the Society's emphasis has since changed to bush regeneration, education and recreational activities.

As well as his core work as the treasurer - ordering, invoicing, banking, receipting, preparing cheques for signature and maintaining records and archives - Peter also organises fundraisers, oversees the membership list, instigates partnerships and alliances, and is helping to spearhead the group's move onto the internet and into the world of social media.

In fact, the Society's level of activity - and success - is staggering.

"Over the past six years, Wolli Creek Preservation Society has more than doubled its membership to 430," Ulrike says. "In the same period, WCPS has expanded its financial activity enormously, from a balance of around $5000 and an annual income of about $3000 to a balance of over $136,000 and an income of over $70,000."

A total of nine separate grants were being administered by the Society in 2010.

In the end, though, it all comes back to the connection with the cause.

"While Peter handles the administrative tasks around various bushcare sites and flora and fauna-related issues in the valley, he enjoys his own hands-on time during bushcare sessions which take him up close to the real thing, the native plants in the Wolli Valley," Ulrike says. "Peter always has time to explain bushcare techniques to the volunteers and helps them identify plants to make sure that only the weeds come out of the ground and the native plants thrive."

Thanks to Peter's contribution, it's not only the plants that are thriving.



2010 Awards

A total of 431 voluntary community treasurers were nominated for the 2010 Community Treasurers' Awards, with winners announced on May 10, 2010.

All nominees have been given a certificate in appreciation of their efforts, while the winners received a certificate, a trophy and a $5000 prize for their organisation.

Congratulations to the 2010 winners!

Toni Lawler Toni Lawler (winner: large organisations category) is the treasurer of Newcastle & Hunter Community Access (NHCA), which supports people with severe disabilities to connect with the community.
Bernadette Stewart Bernadette Stewart (winner: medium organisations category) is the treasurer of Buckingham Rowing Club in Hobart, Tasmania.
Ian McLaren Ian McLaren (winner: small organisations category) is the treasurer of Bribie Island Orchid Society in Queensland.

- Click here to read the media release

- Click here to read the judges' citations (PDF)

For further details, email or call (03) 9320 6800.



2009 Awards

The 2009 Community Treasurers' Awards received a total of 265 nominations.

Nominees came from all corners of every state in Australia - from major cities, regional centres and small towns: from organisations big and small and from all sections of the community sector.

A formal announcement of the winners was made at the annual Our Community Board Builder Conference, held on 27 February 2009. The winners in each category were presented their Awards by the Hon Wayne Swan, Treasurer of Australia.

Congratulations to the 2009 winners!

Small Organisation: Rebecca Thompson, Avenel Preschool,VIC

Medium Organisation: Kim McConnochie, Wollongong Australian Football Club, NSW

Large Organisation: Heather Thompson, Grange Surf Life Saving Club

  • Click here to download the 2009 Community Treasurers' Awards booklet (PDF 4.5MB) and read about some great community treasurers.
  • Click here to read the media release.



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