Scholar Profile - Gilda Davies PDF Print E-mail
Gilda Davies


Manager Training and Development at Volunteering WA

Awarded a Bankwest Foundation / Governance Institute scholarship for the Certificate in Governance for Not-for-profits, 2015

What sort of work does your organisation do?

Volunteering WA makes a difference by connecting volunteers to community organisations. Our aim is to build strong communities through volunteering and provide a range of resources, services and support so that people in Western Australia are aware of, and understand, the nature and scope of volunteer activity. We also work with micro, small, medium and large NFPs and provide advice, training and advocacy on a wide range of volunteer-involving issues.

Describe a typical day's work.

My days vary considerably. One day I could be delivering training in Esperance and the next I could be working on a national project, such as the National Definition of Volunteering. The main part of my role is to provide best practice training and development specifically for people who manage Volunteers across the state. Volunteering WA has over 650 member organisations and an important part of my role is to provide advice on a very broad range of issues to both Volunteer Managers and Volunteers.

What are some of the key learnings from the Certificate in Governance for Not-for-profits?

There are a very wide range of issues affecting not-for-profit organisations and the need to be legally compliant.

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

As I am the main “go to person” for a large number of not-for-profit organisations, this course has armed me with information to enable me to give a higher level of advice. This is particularly important to small NFPs in the city as well as small country communities where knowledge of good governance is often lacking. During recent small community visits I identified many gaps, not only in knowledge, but of the consequences and impact of Boards. I am now able to develop short, practical workshops that can be useful for these communities.

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

After working in industry for 25 years, I had a really strong desire and need to align my own personal values and beliefs of social and environmental consciousness. I looked around for about six months for an organisation that met my criteria. I now get to work with, and help out organisations that are working on important social and environmental issues. It makes my heart sing that I can have an impact on these organisations by providing advice and good practice techniques to enable them to function at a higher, more professional level.

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

Many people in the sector are there because they passionately care about the cause, but often they don’t have a background in leading people or an understanding of how to put together and effectively run NFPs. The energy and passion that people bring to their cause can create a great deal of tension and conflict within the team and can unravel the best organisation. Having short, sharp, affordable and practical training in a range of topics is essential to the NFP sector, both for large, small and micro organisations. This will help NFPs build capacity and professionalism to be able to most effectively use their very limited human and capital resources.

What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?

I worked in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for a number of years during the 1990s in senior Human Resource Management and Project Management roles. My volunteer roles in Western Australia focus on sustainable, clean energy and environmental advocacy.

Click here to read about other ASF scholars.

Click here to find out more about the Bankwest Foundation Community Leader Scholarship Program.

"It makes my heart sing that I can have an impact on these organisations by providing advice and good practice techniques to enable them to function at a higher, more professional level."


Gilda is passionate about the environment and strengthening the NFP sector. She has worked with Volunteering WA since early 2012 where she is the Training and Development Manager. In this position, she has recently developed a new workshop called "National Standards for Senior Managers and Boards”, which is just one part of her multifaceted role.

In 2015, ASF awarded Gilda a scholarship to attend the Governance Institute's Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits, supported by the Bankwest Foundation, the Governance Institute and ASF.


Annual revenue / size:

Medium - $250,000 - $5m pa

Segment of NFP sector:

Social Services

Operating in: