TEAM
AGENTS OF CLIMATE EMERGENCY

WE’VE ASSEMBLED A KICK-ASS TEAM OF...

Urbanists, Climate Strategists, Designers, Community engagement professionals and Impact driven individuals who make change happen.

Jean Darling

FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR

Stephen Mason

CFO & IMPACT ADVISOR

Jon Drews

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

Marta Malchevski

PARTICIPATORY DESIGNER & FACILITATOR

Sarah Furnell

MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Anthony Despotellis

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Caitlin Phillips-Peddlesden

PROJECT MONITORING & EVALUATION (GROWGOOD)

Sally Harrison

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE (GROWGOOD)

Luke Phillips

CIRCULAR DESIGNER & CONSULTANT

Rachel Wilke

CHIEF HORTICULTURIST OFFICER

Reanna Willis

CAMPAIGN ENGAGEMENT

HAVE A QUESTION?

Want to join the fight against urban waste? Change the narrative around our food systems?
If you’re a values aligned volunteer, NFP, business or organisation...

Jean Darling

FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR

(She/Her)

Jean is a regenerative designer of the built environment, and unapologetically driven by issues of climate emergency and community resilience, closed loop food systems and collective strategies for social and environmental change. She has a trans-disciplinary background in Architecture, Placemaking and Social enterprise and has a whole systems approach to people, spaces, and spatial programming.

She sees the city as a “living laboratory” and loves creating deliberative, real human empowerment and connection through the design of urban interventions. She believes that reconnecting and regenerating the land we build on is one of the ways forward to solving our climate crisis, the core driving force that planted the seed for Cirque du Soil. She spends her downtime addicted to survivalist wildcraft docos, taking her kids out on outdoor adventures and oscillating between beach and snow. 

Stephen Mason

CFO & IMPACT ADVISOR

(Him/He) 

Stephen has an MBA in Global Sustainable Development and is passionate in leading social and environmental change. He works with co-operatives, social enterprises and the not-for-profit sector to assist organisations achieve their purpose. He is passionate about stakeholder led design, where all parties have agency. If he had his way, the entire world would be a hybrid version of Mondragon (the world’s leading Co-operative society), and the principles of the circular economy would be taught to babies.

He is supporting Cirque du Soil scale into a sustainable social enterprise because he is passionate about solving climate issues by shifting consumer behaviour. In his spare time when he isn’t supporting our operations he can be found building anything from houses to motorbikes, cooking food from his garden, or most likely playing with a financial model.

Jon Drews

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

(Him/He)

Jon grew up in Narrm/Melbourne and has a deep connection to the beautiful forests, waterways and hills of Wurundjeri country. He’s passionate about community building, and can often be found organising activities and events for community festivals, or playing music in local sessions and ensembles. Jon’s a lifelong learner, and has worked as an architect, musician, teacher, builder, musical instrument maker, museum guide, exhibition curator, librarian and sound artist, to name a few. He is also currently working on adding software engineering to his skillsets, to enrich his coding practice.

Jon is passionate about landcare, restorative agriculture and wilderness conservation, and has a long history of volunteering with community environment organisations in Australia and overseas. He loves his role at Cirque du Soil, which brings him in contact with many passionate and proactive businesses and individuals, saves tonnes of food waste from landfill, and gets him out and about around our wonderful city.

Marta Malchevski

PARTIPATORY DESIGNER & FACILITATOR

(She/Her)

The world of design thinking, where connecting the dots between stakeholders, the systems forces that are failing them and figuring out the path to addressing the challenges, is the ground that Marta’s multi-disciplinary toolkit shines.

Marta holds a Bachelor in Communications (Media) majoring in Politics, Economies and Business, in addition to studying abroad in the Danish Media school and at the University of Sydney. Alongside this she draws on 6+ years on social impact projects at YLab, complex collaborations and systems level problems with Government (all levels), nonprofits and business to design solutions with people from diverse backgrounds, especially young people across Australia.

Her bias for pursuing interesting opportunities led to her to researching and writing for a future studies publication in Copenhagen, establishing Cykler – a cargo-bike shop – in 2016, and a creative studio in a decommissioned theatre in Melbourne’s north called Manorisms Studio in
2018 that hosted events, performances, community yoga and creative production services.

Marta’s penchant for questioning and searching for truths underpins all that she does. Currently, her curiosity is in sinking deeper into regenerative design practices, circular innovations and systems healing theory to continue her expansive journey in the world of design.

Sarah Furnell

MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT​

(She/Her)

A self described compost fiend Sarah combines her 10+ years in Marketing & Business Development with her passion for all things sustainable.

Sarah recently completed a course in Circular Economy and Sustainable Materials Management through Lund University with Sarah’s ultimate goal to become a consultant within the circular economy industry.

Sarah loves connecting & learning about her clients and working with equally passionate people to help find impactful and innovative solutions through climate positive business development.

Melbourne born and bred, coffee & food appreciation runs in her veins and you can find her in her spare time growing and cooking with her family. Sarah is excited to meet players not only in the hospitality industry, but from all walks of life.

Caitlin Phillips-Peddlesden

PROJECT MONITORING AND EVALUATION (GROWGOOD)

(She/Her)

Caitlin comes to Cirque du Soil from the International Development sector, where she has done a bit of everything, from partnerships coordination, to project design and management, monitoring evaluation and learning, and capacity development. She is also Circular Lead at the RMIT Circular Activator and has previously lived in the Pacific and Central America, working with Australian First Nations communities and groups.

Caitlin supports Cirque du Soil with GrowGood project monitoring, evaluation and measurement, and has previously been involved with project design and research, partnerships and stakeholder management and grant development. Growing up in the Tassie bush with hippie parents she learnt to Reduce, Re-use, Recycle from birth, and has a keen professional and personal interest in Placemaking, inclusive community building, and sustainable circular economies. When not subtly guilting family and friends into reducing their personal waste she can be found bike riding, dancing, reading, hugging trees, and (badly) crafting.

Sally Harrison

RMIT GROWGOOD ASSOCIATE

(She/Her)

Luke Phillips

CIRCULAR DESIGNER & CONSULTANT

(He/Him)

Luke is an Industrial Designer with a human focused approach to circular design and systems change. He dedicates his time designing products and engaging communities on ways to live in alignment with the planet. This has seen him start two circular businesses; Into Carry, a design studio changing relationships with material resources, and Into Coffee, a zero waste cafe focused on activating the community and developing circular systems for the hospitality industry.

‘Sustainability’ shouldn’t be a burden and it definitely shouldn’t be boring. His philosophy is driven by a need to normalise sustainable systems by making them exciting and accessible. Luke‘s theory of change begins with the individual and ends with a change in the environment around them. At Cirque du Soil, he sees the power hospitality has to inspire and educate individuals on circular and regenerative change and is passionate about implementing changes into new and existing businesses. 

Rachel Wilke

CHIEF HORTICULTURIST OFFICER

(She/Her)

Rachel is originally from Michigan USA with a bachelors degree in landscape architecture and trained in welding and fabrication. She originally started with us in food waste rescue operations and graphics, and more recently returned to Cirque du Soil as our Chief Horticulturist Officer (CHO) for our up and coming circular plant program. As much as she loves designing and drawing – her biggest passion is being on the ground and in the garden, come hail, rain or shine. She is passionate about plants and all the benefits they provide for a community. 

Rachel will be running our food waste kokedama workshops and circular plant installation and maintenance division in 2024. She also runs her own enterprise  Gals in the Garden, an awesome LGBTQ friendly garden design and maintenance business. You can also frequently find her at Princess Park playing games and picnicking with her housemates.

Reanna Willis

CAMPAIGN ENGAGEMENT

(She/Her)

Reanna is an undercover Queenslander who has landed in Melbourne after an extended detour living in Patagonia, where she crammed in all the hiking and tango she could. While this had little to do with her background in soil and agricultural science, she did learn a whole lot about diversity and connection. She has recently finished a Master of Environment, where she dug deep into regenerative sustainability, placemaking, circular economy, and urban food systems.

In her consulting work, she is pursuing global change through engaging businesses in sustainability and helping to find new opportunities in the low carbon transition. She complements this with a local focus at Cirque du Soil as part of the Engagement Team, connecting with other office dwellers and small businesses to find holistic organic waste solutions. She loves that Cirque keeps her grounded in her local community and constantly reimagining and creating better waste outcomes. Reanna is a passionate advocate for living better through living more sustainably, and when she’s not thinking about this or dancing tango, you’ll probably find her tending to her vegetable garden.

Our soft plastics program is available in Oct 2022.

Do something drastic & cut the plastic. Single-use plastic food packaging is a major contributor to the global solid waste problem. Although the food industry is developing strategies to reduce single-use plastic packaging, we need to better understand consumer awareness and attitudes about the issue.

When you toss a plastic bottle into your recycling bin, there’s no guarantee it actually gets recycled. In fact, odds are, it doesn’t. 

This is one of our key priority streams, where by using the same containers, in the same form, over and over again – it eases demand for virgin materials, reduces energy needed to spit out thousands of new plastic bottles or cardboard boxes, and prevents heaps of trash from ending up in landfills or oceans.

They’re bulky, large in size and consumes large amounts of space.

We use paper and cardboard in so much packaging and stacks of it still ends up in landfill, resulting in stacks of methane production, a major greenhouse gas.

When when you recycle cardboard waste and keep it free of oil and contamination, you end up saving ample amounts of water and energy and minimise trees being chopped down to get virgin material.

Cigarette butts are the world’s most littered plastic item, with around 7 billion dropped in Australia every year. In partnership with Fungi Solutions, CigCycle collected cigarette butts will undergo a Myco-Remediation program (mushrooms, FYI) at their Thornbury myco-facility for research and development for new circular materials.