Scholar Profile - Janiene Pollock PDF Print E-mail
Janiene Pollock


Chair at Ronald McDonald House Charities Western Australia

Awarded a BankWest Foundation / Governance Institute scholarship for a Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits, 2016 and a BankWest Foundation / AICD scholarship for an eLearning Short Course, 2015

What sort of work does your organisation do?

Ronald McDonald House Perth provides a “Home Away from Home” for families of seriously ill children undergoing treatment. The new 47 room house caters for up to 250 people per night where accommodation, breakfast, dinners and much more are provided free of charge. We will also be opening a 12 bedroom facility in the new Perth Children’s hospital along with running the Family Resource Centre and Aboriginal Lounge. We also run a number of other programs and have the first Learning Centre in Australia at our Perth House. With the learning program we provide a tutor for 40hrs during the following year of recovery to ensure that education is not missed. We also have two Family retreats that allow families to escape the city and take a break/holiday.

Describe a typical day's work.

As the Chair I do not get involved in the operations of the chapter. I catch up with the Executive Officer each week. I also keep in contact with the board, we have executive meetings each month and formal Board Meetings every second month.

What are some of the key learnings from the Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits and eLearning Short Course?

I joined the board of Ronald McDonald House Perth almost 4 years ago. At this point I had no previous board experience. The ASF and Bankwest Scholarships have provided me with skills and a greater understanding of board governance. It has also allowed me to attract some very successful board members from the WA community, they have greater confidence in me as the chair knowing that I am armed with skills to perform the role.

How has it impacted / changed / benefited your role and your organisation as a whole?

The scholarships have benefited my role as I now have formal board training and qualifications. It is so important for our charity and ensures a greater confidence with key stakeholders and investors. We survive on fundraising so it is critical that our board is professional and armed with the right education to make decisions and meet expectations on all fronts including looking after our guests.

How did you come to be working in the not-for-profit sector?

I have been a volunteer for many years with Ronald McDonald House Charities. I was lucky to be invited to be on the Board almost 4 years ago.

What do you feel is most needed to sustain and build the impact of the not-for-profit sector?

Funding is always critical for the NFP sector. As a Charity it is our biggest risk. With our recent growth our new KPIs for fundraising have increased 280%. We are facing challenging times with the current economic climate. It is critical that our investors and key stakeholders have confidence in our charity and know that their donations will be well managed and make a difference to families with seriously ill children.

Board Education is critical in the NFP sector. Most people give their time freely and it is very costly to complete Governance courses at your own expense and most NFPs cant afford to pay for this. The ASF and Bankwest Scholarships provide access to the best courses in the country for board development. We are very fortunate to be able to apply and participate.

What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?

I also own 2 McDonalds Restaurants that keep me very busy. Between them they have approximately 200 staff.

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"I joined the board of Ronald McDonald House Perth almost 4 years ago. At this point I had no previous board experience. The ASF and Bankwest Scholarships have provided me with skills and a greater understanding of board governance."


Janiene has volunteered with Ronald McDonald House Charities for the past 20 years and was appointed to the Board of Ronald McDonald House Perth in 2013. In 2015 she stepped up as Chair and has held that role ever since.

In 2015, ASF awarded Janiene a scholarship to complete the Governance Institute's Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits, and some months later a scholarship for one of AICD's eLearning Short Courses. Both scholarships were part of the Bankwest Foundation Community Leaders Scholarship Program.


Annual revenue / size:

Medium - $250,000 - $5m pa

Segment of NFP sector:


Operating in: