Scholar Profile - Emily Lapinski PDF Print E-mail
Emily Lapinski


Regional Coordinator at Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV)

Awarded a BankWest Foundation / WACOSS scholarship for the Community Sector Management Course, 2014

What sort of work does your organisation do?

ICV provides opportunities to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop community and human capacity to improve their quality of life, health, social and economic wellbeing and inclusion within Australian society.

Importantly, ICV is invited by communities to listen to what people have and need. We do things with Indigenous people, not to or for them.

ICV connects communities with a national network of skilled volunteers from backgrounds as diverse as child care, IT, manufacturing, law and medicine. Volunteers work in partnership with communities to strengthen their own efforts to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

Describe a typical day's work.

My job is very dynamic; here is a snapshot of some typical things I do:

  • Organising and meeting with Aboriginal community leaders and Elders to discuss their aspirations and how ICV may be able to support them
  • Organising volunteer placements in Aboriginal communities including cultural information and travel logistics
  • Managing staff and supervising volunteers
  • Monitoring and evaluating projects and record keeping on ICV’s database
  • Report writing for  ICV stakeholders (e.g. management and donors)%
  • Working with ICV’s communications team to document community journeys.

What are some of the key learnings from the Community Sector Management Course?

I am learning key management skills like operational planning, time management and performance management that have enhanced my ability to operate in a management role.

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

I was new to management when I started the course and I have been able to use the skills I learn in each session to perform my role with confidence. It has also allowed ICV to be more flexible within its limited staff base.

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

In 2009 I volunteered overseas in rural Laos working on an environmental education project, I then moved to remote Central Australia to support the Anangu people of the Pitjantjatjara Lands setup protected areas and implement country management plans. It was out there that I first became aware of what ICV did and how they work with communities in a unique way. I really enjoy working in the NFP sector and I think these organisations do so much important work for communities and the environment often with very little resources.

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

The NFP sector is very reliant on people who are resourceful and passionate about supporting communities and making a positive difference in people’s lives. It is super important to support people who work in the NFP sector through career development so these organisations can retain experienced and passionate staff. Scholarship programs like this mean that for organisations like ICV, which rely on donations to fund community engagement and development, more money can go directly towards service delivery.

What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?

I’ve joined the circus several times in my life. When I was a kid I was in a community circus where I learnt Juggling and unicycling and performed at local events. As an adult I was part of the Shell Questacon Science Circus where I used performance to communicate science to students across Australia.

Click here to read about other ASF scholars.

"It is super important to support people who work in the NFP sector through career development so these organisations can retain experienced and passionate staff."


Emily currently works in the community development sector with Indigenous Australians. She has held the position of Regional Manager at Indigenous Community Volunteers since 2012. In the past she has worked in remote Indigenous communities in Laos and Central Australia, and holds qualifications in Environmental Science and Science Communication.

In 2014, ASF awarded Emily a scholarship to attend WACOSS's year-long Community Sector Management Course.


Annual revenue / size:

Medium - $250,000 - $5m pa

Segment of NFP sector:

Social Services, Education & Research, Law, Advocacy & Politics, and Employment, Development & Housing

Operating in: