Chris started his career as an electrician, worked his way into superannuation services in the manufacturing sector, and joined Soft Landing from an Executive career in operational and customer relationship management in superannuation.
He made the move to the for-purpose sector, to turn his skills, experience and energy into employment, wellbeing and recycling outcomes.
“The people at Soft Landing come from all walks of life and cultures. They help form an intelligent, hard-working and authentic Soft Landing team.”
Joe started with Soft Landing as Smithfield Site Manager in 2019, and was promoted to State Manager in 2020 following growth of more than 50% at Smithfield under his leadership.
Joe led a transition to manual processing, providing employment opportunities to more than 50 former refugees; work that was recognised by a Settlement Services International Community Appreciation Award.
“Refugees are people who have taken a huge risk. They have initiative, they know it's going to be tough, and they've got to grab hold of any opportunity they are given."
Kylie Roberts-Frost came to Soft Landing in 2019 after a career leading multi-national teams in shipping and logistics.
Kylie has led the ACT team through a review of processes, achieving better social, efficiency and safety outcomes through new ways of working.
“I feel like we’ve got a broader purpose than ‘how many mattresses did we get through this week’, or even ‘I offered one guy a job’ because it’s about what we are potentially changing for the next 80 guys.”
Kiana joined Soft Landing as a casual in 2011 and soon became known as someone who can find her way through any challenge with skill and good humour. She secured a trainee role while completing her Certificate IV in Business Administration.
In 2020 Kiana was promoted to Site Manager Illawarra.
“I love the satisfaction I get from working with the team. It’s rewarding to see people start with barriers and then overcome them to become great employees.”
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.”
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.”
Darren brings almost 30 years’ experience in waste and recycling, across corporate entities, consulting and state management.
He was managing budgets of more than $11 million per month when he came to a career crossroads, reflecting on long hours and the greater good. He joined Soft Landing in 2020.
“You can see in the guys that this place is changing their lives. You can see what it means to them; that’s very rewarding.”
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.”
Josh joined the mattress recycling industry at 19, as a casual mattress cutter at the Newcastle site. He was offered a full-time position in his first week.
After eight years at the site, Josh was promoted to Site Manager Newcastle in 2020. Under his leadership the team has increased productivity, adopted a more ambitious mindset, brought logistics in-house and improved health and safety outcomes.
“It’s a good family feel here. Everyone is friends and a lot of guys meet up after work to kick a football.”
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.”
Jimmy joined Soft Landing through the Work for the Dole program and worked his way up to become Warehouse Supervisor, overseeing up to 100 team members, in three years.
His mindset is to: “Work as hard as possible and be the best employee imaginable”. With strengths in mentoring and process improvement, he initiated WA's employee of the month program.
“Soft Landing has dramatically changed my life; this job has allowed me to feel important. It’s given me a good, stable working life which I had never experienced before. I’ve proved to myself that I can do anything.”
Iliesa Lesidavuilevu joined Soft Landing in 2019 through Settlement Services International (SSI). A former refugee from Fiji who has now settled in Sydney, he works at our Smithfield site as a cutter.
Since arriving in Australia in 2019, Illiesa has joined the Red Cross Emergency Services and has made himself part of the community, helping others whenever he can.
“Back home we don’t see these kinds of jobs in recycling. Coming here it was eye-opening to see Soft Landing recycling so much. The re-use of foam and steel is great to see.”