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

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 organization that helps disadvantaged youth to reach their potential.

Joe Rasmussen

Joe Rasmussen

State Manager - NSW

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

Kylie Roberts-Frost

State Manager - ACT

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 Smithers

Kiana Smithers

Site Manager - Illawarra NSW

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 Maizels

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.”

Mike Pennington

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.”

Jason Heron

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.”

Kyle Easton

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

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.”

Tom Maxwell

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.”

Jimmy Winter

Jimmy Winter

Warehouse Supervisor - Wangara WA

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

Iliesa Lesidavuilevu

Cutter - Smithfield NSW

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, Iliesa 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.”

Kylie Roberts-Frost, Soft Landing ACT Manager

“I feel like we’ve got a broader purpose than ‘I offered one guy a job’ because it’s about what we are potentially changing for the next 80 guys.”


Community Resources


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 675 people last year, 74% of them experiencing barriers to employment.

Support local jobs by booking your mattress for recycling

Soft Landing mattress collection and recycling