John Willis

Community Development Officer, Golden City Support Services

John Willis works as a Community Development Officer with Golden City Support Services – a non-government organisation providing disability, mental health, and dementia supports based in Bendigo. He has worked in the field of disability support for the last 20 years.

In 2002 John co-founded CreateAbility, an arts organisation providing opportunities for people of all abilities to express themselves and connect with others. CreateAbility produces workshops, projects, and events across a range of visual and performing arts forms. In 2013 John completed a Masters in Community Cultural Development with the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne).

Vice Chair

Sue Devereaux

Community Relationship Lead Bendigo Health Foundation, Volunteer Coordinator Bendigo Health

Sue works with Bendigo Health in the capacity of Volunteer Coordinator with Home and Community Care Program for Younger People and also with the Bendigo Health Foundation as Community Relationship Lead. She is also Chair of Food Fossickers Central Victoria Inc. and Secretary of Bendigo Community Farmers Market committee.

Sue has been involved with community groups for over 20 years, mostly in Community Development roles and has spent a number of years developing community based projects for Local Government. Sue holds a Graduate Diploma in Business- Professional Practice as well as an Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management and Marketing.


Mandy Lee-Cooper

Board Director and Consultant

Mandy has a keen interest in giving back to her community that has been her home for over 40 years, and holds a number of volunteer roles in various Bendigo organisations including Treasurer of the Bendigo Youth Choir and Committee member of Women in Figures, and is also a Board director with a number of Bendigo organisations.

She is an experienced senior executive with over 30 years’ working in local government, tourism and IT & telecommunications sectors, and over the last decade was employed by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank as CEO to the Australian Friendly Society. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor Business (Accounting) and is a member of CPA Australia.

Mandy joined BVRC in 2022 and brings a wide breadth of community engagement, governance, financial and general management experience in various disciplines.


Cathie Steele

Former Health Professional

Cathie has had over 30 years experience as a physiotherapist and a health service manager, with a particular interest in service planning, quality and risk management. She held Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor positions at Monash and Melbourne Universities and has been a health service surveyor with the Australian Council on Health Care Standards.

After initiating and establishing the Australian Centre for Health Innovation at Alfred Health Cathie retired in 2012, but retains her interests in governance and entrepreneurial community development. She has held several Board positions, and has for the past few years has focused on leading the establishment of Bendigo Foodshare as a sustainable community owned, volunteer based food rescue and food relief organisation for the people of Central Victoria.

Board Member

Paul Kirkpatrick JP


Prior to retirement, Paul held CEO and senior management positions in health and human services organisations, and now enjoys active service with many community organisations. As well as Chair of the BVRC for the past 5 years, Paul is an active JP in the Bendigo region and enjoys short engagements as relieving CEO in not-for-profit organisations.

He is also Deputy Chair of Rotary Youth Camp Inc, [Camp Getaway (Rotary D9800)], a $1.2m project of the 70 Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 9800 to redevelop a former youth camp at Axedale Victoria, as a state of the art recreation camp for people of all abilities, and as a respite resource for carers and others.

Board Member

Andie West

Manager Community Partnerships, City of Greater Bendigo (non-voting member)

Andie has been with the City of Greater Bendigo for 3 years as both the Manager of Community Wellbeing and as Manager Community Partnerships. In her current role she is responsible for the development of a range of Policies and Strategies which focus on promoting positive community outcomes, and guides the work of the City. Before moving to the City, Andie held the role of Director, Children Youth and Families at Bendigo Community Health Services. Andie holds a number of Board positions which contribute to outcomes for our local community. As a passionate feminist and humanist, Andie works tirelessly to ensure an access and equity, gender and trauma informed lens is incorporated in all that she is involved in (professionally and personally) which means that she is comfortable advocating for those in our community who may have experienced disadvantage and require support and empowerment.

Board Member

David Wright JP OAM

Retired Council Executive

David has been involved with the centre since its inception in 2002, having been a member of a working group that recognised the need for this vital service in our community. His long involvement in Local Government gave him the insight to understand how volunteering can be the “glue” that binds community together and builds a caring and responsive community. Since that time, he has occupied the positions of Secretary and Treasurer.

His involvement with the community is extensive holding life memberships at the Bendigo Trust (Bendigo Heritage Attractions), Capital Theatre, Bendigo Community Theatre and Arts (Apollo Theatre), Eaglehawk Community House and the Bendigo Easter Fair Society. He is Treasurer of the Honorary Justices Group- Bendigo Branch, and President of the Bendigo Chorale.

In January 2023 David was awarded an Order of Australia Medal acknowledging his service to the Bendigo community

Board Member

Helen Yorston JP

Manager, Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre Inc.

Helen is a founding member and manager of the Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre since its inception in June 2002. She has extensive experience and knowledge in all things volunteering, and is the Treasurer of Victorian Volunteer Support Network.

She is also currently a Director and Board Secretary of the Bendigo Trust, Company Secretary for the Board of Management Interchange Loddon Mallee Inc., Life member and Vice-President of the Bendigo Easter Fair Society, Trustee of Bendigo Community Theatre & Arts Public Fund, Justice of the Peace, and Secretary of the Bendigo Branch of Honorary Justices. Helen was previously an Executive Assistant at the Bendigo Trust.

Board Member

Beth Taylor

Brigade Support Team – Country Fire Authority

Changing career from farming to community development took Beth into a regional context putting her networking skills into good use. Beth was the founding President of Bendigo Thunder womens football club. She has worked with the North Central Catchment Management Authority, the Victorian Young Farmers Association, Inglewood Community House, City of Greater Bendigo, and Parks Victoria. She now enjoys her role in the Brigade Support Team with the CFA, where she has dedicated her career for the past 9yrs. Beth is a welcome edition to the BVRC Board after joining in December 2022, and has also taken on the role as Chair of the Loddon Mallee Consortium under the Volunteering Loddon Mallee Project.

Board Member

Craig Wright

Village Manager – Bendigo Retirement Village

Craig has worked in the Not-for-Profit Sector for the better part of his career, in fundraising roles with organisations such the Royal Childrens Hospital Foundation, Royal District Nursing Service Foundation, Wimmera Health Care Group and the Gippsland Health Foundation to name but a few. Craig is currently employed as the Village Manager of Bendigo Retirement Village. As a career highlight, Craig received a Prime Ministers award for his work and support of the long term unemployed.

His community involvement is broad having been involved with Rotary International for over 40 years. Having held Club Presidency roles and multiple Board positions plus district representative roles. Further to this Craig has held Board positions or been involved with multiple organisations including the Bendigo Blue Ribbon Foundation, Horsham Blue Ribbon Foundation, Horsham Sports and Community Club Board and the Bendigo Easter Festival Committee.