Urban Seed has a passionate and talented team of Staff, Residents and Board Members. 

Staff

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David Wilson

CEO

David has had extensive experience in bringing people from various backgrounds, agendas and places to positions of unity in order to achieve common goals.  He began his working life on the streets of St Kilda working with people experiencing homelessness, drug addiction and prostitution. He then studied Theology and Social Science and gained a doctorate in Pastoral Care and Counselling.  He was Principal of Kingsley College for 17 years and founded the Kingsley Counselling Centre.

He was a City of Melbourne Councillor with the Community Services portfolio for 5 years; worked with government and business and has been president of Residents 3000, the political voice of people living in Melbourne's CBD.  Most recently he has been the Director of the Bible Society’s Sophia Think Tank, promoting engagement with Scripture for personal and social transformation through public theology and advocacy.


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Greg Gow

Street & Hospitality Manager

Greg co-ordinates our street and hospitality work. He is a practitioner who integrates community development with Christ-centred spirituality. Over the past 25 years he has worked among the urban poor and marginalised in a range of settings. Meanwhile, he has consistently practiced training, coaching and empowerment with young adults. With extensive experience working in community, government, higher education and church sectors, Greg brings leadership, ideas and strategies to Urban Seed’s street and hospitality practices. Greg reflects upon Urban Seed's soulful community development approach at soulfulcd.wordpress.com.


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Stephen Said

Engagement Manager

Stephen is a husband, a dad, and a foundation member of the Melbourne City Football Club. He works in the area of activism and social change as an educator, activist, speaker, writer and community development worker.  Stephen is particularly interested in radical spirituality, incarnational community and the dynamics of personal and social transformation and you can read more about this on his blog. He has helped many think about the nexus between the issues of justice, poverty, consumerism and discipleship in the context of popular global culture. You can find Stephen on Twitter here.


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Mayra Stark

Youth & Schools Coordinator

Mayra has been hanging around Urban Seed since completing the Praxis Youth Work course in 2007. She has spent time as Youth Worker in the Edge Program since 2008 and is excited to take on the role of Youth and Schools Coordinator in 2012. She is passionate about young people, social justice (raising awareness) and living in community. She also loves traveling and exploring new cultures, being healthy, taking pictures and reading a good book. She lives in Melbourne’s inner west as part of Footscray Salvos Community with her husband Cam, and pet dog Paris and cat Otto.


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Andreana Reale

URBAN STUDIES CENTRE manager

FUNDS DEVELOPMENT coordinator

Andreana is a writer and community development practitioner, who loves Urban Seed. Andreana is responsible for philanthropic and individual donor engagement, and also does a bunch of the writing and communications work. Andreana is passionate about fostering communities of healing, hope and justice in the Melbourne CBD, where she lives, high in the sky, with her husband David and some basil plants. Andreana likes to sing and strum a guitar, is a Deacon at Collin Street Baptist Church, and is putting the finishing touches on her Master of Arts in Theology. 


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Simon Reeves

Team Leader, Norlane

Simon has been exploring community living for more than a decade in some of Australia's most disadvantaged suburbs. Simon joined Urban Seed in Norlane in 2012 with his wife Kaylene and their two boys Barwon and Jarrah, in order to live out their passions for community development and transformation. Simon is excited about exploring how to live out the Gospel in neighborhoods experiencing disadvantage and draws on his studies in social work, theology and his current masters. Simon's other passions include the peace movement where he is involved as a activist and a nonviolence educator, as well as growing his own food and sees the neighborhood as one big potential garden.


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Kaylene Reeves

Residential Community Team Leader, Norlane

Kaylene joined Urban Seed as a resident in Norlane at the beginning of 2012 after spending a year living and working in Alice Springs. She is loving getting to know the community through helping out with Long Room community meals, as well as knitting and sewing her way through craft group. She lives in the local neighbourhood with her husband Simon and her 2 gorgeous little boys and looks forward to all the future may bring in her new home town.


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Chris Booth

communications Co-Ordinator 

Chris was a Central House resident at Urban Seed from 2006 until 2009 and is currently coordinating our communications. Chris is a resident-volunteer at the Indigenous Hospitality House. Chris blogs at OrdinaryTime.net


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Evan Morgan

Educator - Youth & Schools Team

Evan is a born and bred Melburnian who loves spending time in the city. During a Diploma of Ministry at Tabor College, Evan was encouraged to participate in the Mission Exposure week with Urban Seed, and followed up with a two year stint busking on Swanston Street, meeting locals and participating in the rhythms of the street. He developed a love of learning about different subcultures in Melbourne, and has contributed to a few of these through music production, performance and event management. Evan loves that Urban Seed has a healthy cricket culture and, on another note, needs studio space in the north, preferably a room 5x5 metres, and will be very satisfied in life when he finds one.


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MICHAEL CUTTER

EDUCATOR - YOUTH & SCHOOLS TEAM, IT OFFICER

Mike joined Urban Seed in 2015, bringing his Mac ninja skills and his experience working with young people to the team. He enjoys having too many jobs, hobbies and people in his life, and hopes to one day have enough time for all of them. He lives in Kew with his amazing wife and awesome young adult and teenaged kids.


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Blythe Toll

Creative Curriculum Co-ordinator - Youth & Schools Team

Blythe has been a part of Urban Seed since 2009, since then she has enjoyed being part of the youth and schools team, working with young people and making them think.  She studied art at uni, and loves doing and making creative things.  She lives in Preston with her husband and daughter.  


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Dave Fagg

Edge Youth Worker, Bendigo

Dave is married to Kylie with whom he has lived and worked among marginalised people since their late teens. They travelled to the USA and South Africa to learn about communities doing grassroots community development before moving to a housing commission area in Bendigo in 2005. Since then, with their new son Shane, they have been involved with the local neighbourhood centre and Seeds Bendigo as well as becoming grandparents to Toby & Amity. In addition, Dave is an educator with Praxis Victoria. Dave thinks aloud on his blog. You can find Dave on Twitter here.


Cate Nguyen

Credo Cafe Manager

Catherine Nguyen lives in St Albans with Tri, their 2 kids, Grandpa Tony and dog Rose. She has always been a fan of Urban Seed, dragging youth leaders and groupies on city walks in Urban Seed's early days as part of their formation training.  When the opportunity came to join the mob mid 2013, it was like coming home.  Hospitality, as H. Nouwen describes it, - "the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy” means we can learn from each other’s stories and be involved in each other’s healing and growth.


CAITLYN BOSCH

EVENTS MANAGEMENT OFFICER

ADMINISTRATION OFFICER

Caitlyn is a multi-talented administrator with a love of music, finite tasks and saying ‘hazzah!’ when things go well. Caitlyn is serving Urban Seed as our Events Management Officer and temporarily as our Administration Officer. When she is not doing this, Caitlyn is running her own business and immersing herself in the worlds of music, theatre and dance. Caitlyn is part of the Exaudi Youth Choir, the Melbourne University Dance Sport Club as well as the founding member of a Capella group The Decibelles. Caitlyn is studying a Bachelor of Science at Melbourne University and is part of the Hawthorn West Baptist Church. Caitlyn is appreciated for the way she balances efficiency and competence with her gift for creating a sense of ‘home’ in the office.  


Residential Volunteers

melbourne (Central House)

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TIM HUNTER

RESIDENTIAL team leader, MELBOURNE

Tim is a second year Resident at Urban Seed. He loves connecting with people, and believes that sport and food are great avenues to build relationships and invest in community. Tim studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in sociology and politics. In 2010 he ran for a political party and enjoys new experiences which provide opportunities for him to learn. In 2013 Tim was an intern at AuburnLife Church, focusing strongly on community development and through this was involved in an outreach cricket competition and a hub for international students. He is excited about being a part of Urban Seed, an organisation with a strong emphasis on ‘Soulful Community Development’. Tim is originally from Kyabram.


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BETH HUNTER

RESIDENTIAL team leader (volunteer), MELBOURNE

Beth is a passionate primary school teacher who has taken some time off full time work to partake in the work of Urban Seed and share life with the Credo Community. She grew up in a very small farming community called Invergordon which is half an hour north of Shepparton, and always enjoys going home to visit her family! Beth has spent the last 3 years teaching in Broadmeadows and is excited about transferring her skills and passions into life at Urban Seed. Beth loves spending time with her husband Tim over a hot chocolate and good conversation. She is excited about the adventures ahead, and in particular she is looking forward to all the things that God has to teach her about life, people and His Kingdom!


Michael Blumel

Residential Volunteer, Melbourne

Michael is a South African born Australian with German heritage who enjoys journeying with people and learning from their experiences. He is currently completing a course at Stirling Theological College as he tries to put the good stuff that Jesus talked about into practice each day. In his spare time he enjoys playing cricket with the Laburnum Cricket Club and exploring the world around him.  This year he is looking forward getting to know his new neighborhood without getting too lost in the city streets and laneways.


jono davenport

residential volunteer, melbourne

Jono grew up in Wangaratta in country Victoria and greatly values walking with people through the ups and downs of their everyday life. Moving to Melbourne in 2009 to study a degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics, he has always been eager to play his part in the lives of those around him, no matter how small or large, and is looking forward to learning the community and loving them with depth and sincerity.

In his spare time Jono enjoys seeing the Hawks dominate the AFL, going hiking and camping, indoor rock climbing and is an avid fan of 500.


Samantha Hadfield

CBD Outreach coordinator

Residential Volunteer, Melbourne

Hello my name is Samantha I love working with people who are isolated from society. I enjoy a good cup of tea. My other favourite things in life are getting out bush and enjoying a good bike ride. My favourite colour is purple. I love hip hop and r&b and Aboriginal cultural music. Combine all of these things and you have me yay!


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MICHAEL WILKERSON

RESIDENTIAL VOLUNTEER, MELBOURNE

G’day, my name’s Michael. My passion for community development work is quite young and when I found out about the residential program, I was thrilled! I started volunteering with Urban Seed back in 2012 and now as a resident, I feel extremely privileged to work alongside a group of passionate individuals who care for those experiencing disadvantage. With a high level of energy and enthusiasm, I am very keen to learn my experiences this year.


My interests include video games, film and music. Originally hailing from East St Kilda, I have also lived abroad in Vietnam, Burma and The Netherlands, with my parents and older sister. I am also studying a youth work diploma through Praxis this year, and my dream is to partner the skills and knowledge I obtain from my course with the experience of my time as a resident.


Rachel Opie

Residential Volunteer, Melbourne

Rachel has joined the Urban Seed team as a resident this year, having moved from the eastern suburbs of Melbourne into Central House. She loves video games, movies and TV shows, as well as relaxing with a cup of tea or indulging in Melbourne's excellent coffee. Rachel's passion for justice and advocacy has led her to her current studies, a Bachelor of Arts/Law at Monash University, and she aspires to become a human rights lawyer. In 2015 she is looking forward to learning more about God, hospitality and community, and journeying with new Credo friends.


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Cherie Furlong

Residential Volunteer, Norlane

Cherie is wife to Stephen (Furlong) and mother to handsome Charlie Clay. Prior to becoming a volunteer resident at 'The Longroom' in Norlane, Cherie enjoyed working as a Teacher's Aide. She loves to bake, read, plan events, laugh out loud, play dress ups with Charlie and shape her surroundings like a Gesamtkunstwerk! She's passionate about walking alongside others with authenticity and compassion. She has a genuine appreciation for people's stories and believes that when you listen to the quiet voices of those who want to be heard, you witness pure acts of kindness. She looks forward to being apart of the 'Urban Seed' community as she walks the next leg of her journey.


Steve Furlong

Residential Volunteer, Norlane

Hey, I'm Steve. I live in Norlane. I love food. And I am slowly learning what life is about. I'm a husband to Cherie, a father to Charlie and a beginner at both. I'm an introvert, realising I'm an extrovert. I like coffee, especially black coffee (while eating peanut butter on toast). I love being deep in thought; it's like exploring a cave and finding a long lost cave painting. I find politics is quite personal, religion quite radical, and both very spiritual. I see Urban Seed facilitating community; where belonging, healing and hospitality may grow out of relationships, nurtured by love, in the spirit of Christ


David Armstrong

Residential Volunteer, Norlane

My name is David Armstrong. I am 25 years old, I have lived in Geelong fifteen years now and am entering the second year of a Diploma of Youth Work with Praxis Victoria this year.

I have also just moved into the Urban Seed community in Norlane as a mission associate for 2015. I will be using my residency as my second year Youth Work placement, but I am also deeply excited for the many opportunities for spiritual, social, professional and person growth that I believe this experience will bring me.

I am a bit of a pop culture junkie with a particularly deep love for superhero culture and music.  I play drums, bass and a little bit of guitar, and get to as much live music as I can.  I also collect comics, love comedy and enjoy going to a movie or a play.

I have been heavily involved with the Uniting Church since I was born and am now an elder at Wesley Uniting Church in Geelong.

I am hoping to get into some sort of youth work position next year, but am also remaining quite open as to what context that will be in. 

Sarah Baensch

Residential Volunteer, Norlane

Hi I’m Sarah. This year I am embarking upon the adventure and blessing of being apart of Urban Seed as a mission associate. In many ways, being apart of Urban Seed in the Norlane Community, I am living the life I dreamed of since I was a little girl. When I was younger and even now, I was asked what I wanted to do with my life, and that is love God and love people in community. I love to serve and bless the people around me and I am privileged to be able to do this in Norlane. I expect this year, and look forward to it challenging me and growing me in ways that I have not yet experienced.


Last year I studied Cert. 3 in Cookery and Cert.3 in Patisserie and I hope to put my learned skills to use in the hospitality programs at Norlane. I am so thankful to God and the community around me that I feel at home at Hope Chapel and the warm welcome that I have been extended. I wish to aspire to become as fluent at showing love and acceptance as I have been shown. 

 

st albans

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STEPHANIE DRAKE

TEAM LEADER, ST ALBANS

Steph is excited to be an Urban Seed resident with her husband Julian this year. She's looking forward to meeting and getting to know people from the Credo community and is keen to explore the vibrant city of Melbourne. She is currently studying Secondary teaching. Anything and everything to do with art or craft catches her attention - from sewing, to cake decorating and especially photography.


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JULIAN DRAKE

TEAM LEADER, ST ALBANS

Julian is a happy go lucky kind of guy, with a qualification in social science. He aims to make a positive impact in people's lives; making connections and friendships in lasting communities. Having fun and a laugh while doing this is a main priority, with interests ranging from jock sports to geeky computer games. This is his first year with Urban Seed and Julian is excited to contribute to the dynamic team at Urban Seed.