Alison Lai

Alison Lai
Chief Executive Officer
Volunteering Tasmania

Alison Lai is a born and bred Tasmanian who is passionate about making a contribution to her community.
Often referred to as a ‘determined’ soul, Alison admits the word ‘stubborn’ is more appropriate.
Making the decision to leave home and school after year 10, Alison knew that she was never destined to follow a stereotypical life trajectory.
Finding herself a full-time job and enrolling in management night courses at TAFE Tasmania when she was 17, Alison went about proving to the doubters (including the woman in her TAFE class who told Alison she didn’t belong there and to go back to school) that just because you choose a different path, doesn’t mean you can’t reach your destination.
After four years study at TAFE, Alison went on to complete a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Tasmania, followed by a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Marketing.
Following roles in the not-for-profit, corporate and public sectors, Alison is currently the CEO of Volunteering Tasmania.
In 2015, Alison was awarded the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Tasmania Division) Public Sector Professional of the Year Award for her work increasing the leadership and governance capacity of volunteers in the Tasmanian sport and recreation sector.
Alison can’t sit still and is currently a Non-Executive Director for Advocacy Tasmania, RSPCA Tasmania and is a Councillor on the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Tasmania). Following her graduation from the 2014 Tasmanian Leaders Program, Alison was awarded the Tasmanian Leaders 2016 Alumni Leadership Award for her work in women’s leadership, specifically her creation of ‘A Conversation Starter’.  ‘A Conversation Starter’ is a collection of interviews with Tasmanian women from diverse backgrounds with different experiences and stories to tell.
Describing herself as ‘sophisticated ocka’, Alison loves nothing more than a chat, particularly with others, who like her, went slightly ‘off-road’ to reach their destination.