Local jobs that care for the planet

Last financial year we provided employment opportunities for 261 people last year, 74% of them experiencing barriers to employment.
We are a better workplace for having the door open to a breadth of life experiences.
Below is a snapshot of our team.

Celebrating our staff

This video is by Tomasz Machnik from Flashpoint Labs.
Tomasz photographed the Soft Landing Smithfield team for one of our funders, Westpac Foundation, and was inspired to create a walk-through photo exhibition at the site. This video captures the reactions of the team.

Our People

David Petrie

General Manager Soft Landing

David is an experienced business professional with a successful career in private enterprise.

He has held senior positions at several companies, including Alsco, Goodyear/Dunlop Tyres, Electrolux Home Products, and Dairy Farmers. His most recent role was General Manager of Kingsley Enterprises, a subsidiary of ARB Corporation.

Motivated by his personal values of respect, fairness, compassion, and kindness, David moved into the not-for-profit sector to use his business management skills to make a more direct contribution to positive social outcomes. Reflecting his desire to help people reach their potential, he is currently an active volunteer with Youth off the Streets (YOTS), a non-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged youth to reach their potential.

Mike Pennington

State Manager – WA

Mike began his career in waste management in the city of Greater Manchester in the 1980s.

More recently the Chief Operating Officer of waste technology company AnaeCo and General Manager of Spartel, he turned his mind in 2020 to improving processes and developing new opportunities for Soft Landing.

“I have become acutely aware of how recycling is an all-round community effort, both in doing the right thing for the environment and what’s right for the people who live in it.”

Steve Maizels

Operations Manager – Victoria

Steve has a background in large-scale reverse logistics, managing teams of hundreds of trucks and drivers across Australia and New Zealand.

He brings a solutions focus to the Victorian team, leading the team through a site move, a shift to manual processing and COVID-19 restrictions.

“You’re challenging yourself every day in this job. If you come across any difficulties, it’s up to you to find a solution.”

Tom Maxwell

Site Manager – Smithfield NSW

Tom actually tried to retire twice before joining Soft Landing, Smithfield as Fleet Controller in 2020.

After three decades in the domestic and international Transport Industry, the last 20 running his own company, “I realised I was not quite right at the retirement stage,” he recalls with a laugh. Within a year Tom had taken the reigns as Site Manager.

“The overall impression I have of Soft Landing and Community Resources is the care and commitment of all employees. We are not just a recycling enterprise here at Smithfield, we are a community.”

Jacob Stons

Floor Manager – Smithfield NSW

Jacob is hardwired for hands-on, physical work.

With a background in landscaping and tiling, he started with Soft Landing in 2018 as a trainee while undertaking his Certificate II in Waste Management. Upon completion of his Cert II, he secured a full-time contract as a General Hand, before stepping into the Leading Hand role.

Jacob’s strong commitment to the team and natural leadership skills were soon recognised, and in November 2021, he was promoted to Floor Supervisor at our Smithfield site.

“I love that we’re creating opportunities for people who are finding it hard to get work. It’s rewarding to see those people coming to Soft Landing and really thriving.”

Jason Heron

Site Manager – Hume ACT

Jason joined Soft Landing through the Work for the Dole program in 2016. He became a casual then a permanent, working across the cutting room and developing leadership skills in the cutting room.

As Site Supervisor, Jason manages a 30-person team and has a reputation for getting things done and leading from the front.

“It’s great knowing how much we are contributing to the sustainability of the world just by recycling mattresses.”

Muhammad Zain

Operations Manager, NSW & ACT

Muhammad’s strong sense of purpose and desire to contribute to a better world led him to join Soft Landing in 2023 as Operations Manager for NSW and ACT.

A driven leader, he previously held managerial positions in operations at Toll, Go Active Outdoors (a subsidiary of ARB Corporation) and Yusen Logistics. He brings his knack for identifying and implementing opportunities for innovation and improvement to his role at Soft Landing.

“The importance of what we do here – supporting vulnerable people, reducing waste, and preserving our precious resources for future generations – cannot be overstated.”

Kyle Easton

Site Manager – Newcastle NSW

Kyle has worked at Soft Landing since 2010, having previously tried his hand at bricklaying, working FIFO in the mining industry in Western Australia, and as a product formulator at a fibreglass company.

He started with Soft Landing as a general hand, then became a truck driver before being promoted to supervisor. After a brief break to explore other options, he returned to become a health and safety officer, and eventually worked up to the site manager position.

“If I ever did leave again, Soft Landing has given me the tools to walk into a management position anywhere in the country,” he says. “But I’m pretty happy where I am!”

Harry-Daniels Grant

Site Manager – Wangara WA

Harry joined Soft Landing with 10 years of experience in the mattress supply chain, working with Sealy Mattresses and Joyce Foam.

He manages processing, warehouse and logistics for the WA team, bringing in process improvements at the site.

“Soft Landing supports the whole team, providing training opportunities, not just work. When we are recycling mattresses, we are making a difference one mattress at a time.”

LAURA SUDANO, ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT

“There’s a lot of heart in this place. We all know we’re working towards something bigger than ourselves”.

Community Resources

JOBS THAT CARE FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET

Soft Landing is part of Community Resources, a national not-for-profit that runs some of the largest social enterprises in Australia and delivers a range of community services, employing 650 people last year, 79% of them experiencing barriers to employment.

Support local jobs by booking your mattress for recycling

Soft Landing mattress collection and recycling