Advocacy Tasmania volunteers provide support at Mental Health Tribunal hearings 

Advocacy Tasmania is about supporting people to speak up, have their say and to make sure that their rights are protected.  Their advocacy services are free, confidential and available across Tasmania.   Their advocates support clients to have their voices heard on issues that, due to their age, disability, mental illness or drug use, stop them from exercising their right to choice and control.

Advocacy Tasmania also coordinates a special group of volunteers dedicated to helping people living with a mental illness.

Under Tasmanian law, the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) is responsible for issuing mental health treatment orders, which can require people to remain in hospital and receive involuntary treatment.  Advocacy Tasmania identified that people required to attend a Hearing were often unrepresented at a time when major decisions about their liberty and life choices were being decided.

In response to this, Advocacy Tasmania developed the Mental Health Tribunal Representation Scheme (MHTRS).  Since 2003 a group of dedicated volunteers has operated statewide supporting people through the MHT process.  Some feedback from those who have been assisted include:

“It was nice to have someone to just sit with me at the Hearing. I have nobody else who can help me to understand what is going on. Thank you.”

“The person you sent to go with me to my Hearing was wonderful. I was so nervous and I just don’t think I could have done it without her. If I have to go again will you please send someone along.”

The MHTRS relies on its committed and state-wide volunteers to provide this invaluable support. Volunteers complete a comprehensive online training program covering, but not limited to, Tasmania’s Mental Health Act, facts and myths about mental illness, stigma and discrimination, consumer and carer rights, capacity and consent and the Mental Health Tribunal. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer representative, you can contact their MHTRS Manager on 1800 005 131 or by email at

If you want to learn more about how the Mental Health Act operates in Tasmania, you can complete their online training package here.

Advocacy Tasmania also work with people with disability and mental illness, people who use alcohol or drugs and older people. They can also assist people with the NDIS, including access, planning, reviews, appeals and complaints. More information on the scope of their Individual Advocacy service is available on their website.

Advocacy Tasmania volunteers provide support at Mental Health Tribunal hearings  2018-09-26T16:28:44+00:00

Annual Report now available (it’s a page-turner!)

We invite you to view our 2017-18 Annual Report.

It’s a 38-page bumper edition packed with facts and fun photos, even a short video titled “Why we do what we do“.

Many thanks to all the volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations who helped make this report (and this year) so vibrant and successful, we hope you have as much fun reading this summary as we had writing it!

Click below to view the flip-page version, or go to our website to download .pdfs of our 2017-18 Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements.

Annual Report now available (it’s a page-turner!) 2018-09-26T11:10:37+00:00

Governance Workshops set to roll out across regional Tasmania

Volunteering Tasmania is running a series of Introduction to Governance workshops to raise awareness of the value of good governance within community groups and advance the skills of existing and potential Board members.

The workshops will provide insight into the responsibilities of a Board and the role requirements of directors and committee members. Participants will be taught how to make informed decisions on financial performance, run effective meetings and how to develop a process of continuous improvement.

These free workshops have been fully funded by the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, and will be running in Nubeena, St Helens, Queenstown and Smithton on October 10, 29, November 20 and 21 respectively.

They have been designed for both current Board members and newcomers with an interest in serving on a community board or committee.

The workshops will:

  • Increase confidence and professionalism and enable directors and committee members to participate more effectively in their not-for-profit community organisation;
  • Inspire people to consider committee and director roles within small and medium not-for-profit community organisations;
  • Create opportunities for workshop participants to network and exchange strategies and ideas; and
  • Ultimately find satisfaction in their Board experience.

Each workshop has a capacity of 30 participants.  For locations, times and RSVP details, please download the flyer.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our expert presenters:

  • Steve Allen, Academic Coordinator (Cradle Coast) & Teaching Fellow, Tasmanian School of Business & Economics.  An accounting and financial management practitioner and academic, Steve has management experience across several public sector organisations and is a skilled presenter.  He has served on the Boards of several not-for-profit organisations and presents an accessible approach to understanding the financial aspects of not-for-profit governance.
  • Donna Bain, General Manager, Self Help Workplace.  Donna has over twenty years of experience in not-for-profit association management including voluntary positions on boards in the adult and community education sector and the disability sports sector.  In addition to being the General Manager of Self Help Workplace, Donna also currently holds a number of committee and board positions.  Donna’s areas of interest include association management, policy and advocacy, and not-for-profit governance education systems.
  • Ella Dixon, CEO, Migrant Resource Centre (Northern Tasmania).  Ella has extensive experience in not-for-profit management including governance, strategic planning, policies and procedures. Prior to becoming CEO of the Migrant Resource Centre in Northern Tasmania, Ella was the Regional Manager of the Community Development Division (Department of Premier and Cabinet). Ella has also worked in local government, the private sector and within community-based organisations. She has assisted many small sporting clubs, state-wide bodies, and community groups in strategic planning and governance issues.  Ella has also been a Board member of several committees and been on the receiving end of advice from management, making her aware of the responsibilities of decision makers and the level of information they seek.


Volunteering Tasmania would like to acknowledge and thank the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science – Building Better Regions Fund.  For more information, visit

Governance Workshops set to roll out across regional Tasmania 2018-11-07T15:22:56+00:00

Invitation to Have Your Say

What is working well in the volunteering sector? Can it be improved?

Volunteering Tasmania is the Peak body for volunteering, and we are here to make a positive impact on volunteerism by advocating and delivering support for the sector.

We encourage you to have your say at our upcoming consultations.  This forum is your opportunity to identify critical areas for development.

Join us as we look at priorities and discuss possible approaches to the issues.

Volunteering Tasmania will consolidate the agreed themes and deliver a submission to the State government through the Budget Priority process.

This is an opportunity to HAVE YOUR SAY.  




27 September 2018, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Burnie Arts & Function Centre

77-79 Wilmot Street, Burnie



28 September 2018, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Volunteering Tasmania State Office

75 Federal Street, North Hobart


RSVP to Kate Birch on 6231 5550, or email by 21 September 2018 latest for catering purposes.


Invitation to Have Your Say 2018-09-17T11:46:08+00:00