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

Staff

Hanyurbanseed.png

Hanny Messieh

Interim ceo

Hany joins the Urban Seed tam as Interim CEO. With a background in banking and finance, Hany brings an invaluable skill set to the organisation. Hany's work in the banking sector over the last couple of decades has presented him with the exciting and rewarding opportunity to experience different cultures and communities, living in a number of places around the globe.

Hany is excited to journey with the Urban Seed in this capacity, while the Board begin their search for a full time CEO.


david.png

David Wilson

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

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.


mayra_stark.png

Mayra Stark

Youth & Schools Manager

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 was 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.


Sherry Maddock

Team Leader, Melbourne CBD

Sherry is an urban gardener, a neighbourhood development worker, and a transplant from Lexington, Kentucky. With her husband, Geoff, and son, Isaac, she lives at Central House in Melbourne's CBD, serving a residential community life together and engaging nearest neighbourhoods for common good initiatives. She graduated from seminary in 2001 with an M.A. in Intercultural Studies and has worked for almost 20 years in inner city mission, alongside people on the margins. She loves plants and books.


Geoff Maddock

Team Leader, Melbourne CBD

Geoff is a photographer, community development worker, and alongside his wife, Sherry, Team Leader at Central House. Originally from Yackandandah he studied criminology at Melbourne Uni, and in 1998 went to the United States to work on his MA in Intercultural Studies. After 18 years in Kentucky he moved with his family back to Australia to love and serve Melbourne's inner city neighbourhood. 


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.


kaylene_reeves.png

KAYLENE REEVES

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 3 gorgeous children and looks forward to all the future may bring in her new home town.


Hannah Reeves

Hub facilitator, Norlane

Hannah is a musician, community development worker and cat lover. Joining Urban Seed in 2013, Hannah has loved the chance to learn and grow in the neighbourhood of Norlane which she now calls home. Drawing upon previous studies in music, she loves to sing and create music with others to share health and happiness. Currently completing studies in theology, she is excited by creatively living a life inspired by the intersection of community and Christian discipleship. 


Amber Toms

Volunteer Coordinator 

Amber lives on site as part of the GraceTree Baptist Community in Coburg with her husband, 2 young daughters, a number of others in the community, their frogs and some chickens. She enjoys gardening and growing food, cooking and eating, reading, creating and sleeping (although she hasn’t had the chance to really get into that in depth for at least 4 years!) As well as working on ways to facilitate places of welcome and making cups of tea.

Amber first became acquainted with Urban Seed through Credo Café in 2002 when her now husband, Paul, became a Mission Associate. She spent many hours at Urban Seed during that time and the years following and then in 2010 they lived as Mission Associates again as a married couple. After having less involvement with Urban Seed over the following years, she was really excited to be invited to assist Urban Seed by facilitating the development of the Volunteer Program.


Brigid Morgan

Art Group Coordinator 

Brigid’s creative practice spans the fields of performing & performance-making, creative writing, visual & fine arts. Her experience includes the cultivation of her own art work as well as teaching children and adults in classroom situations or facilitated workshop sessions. She has an extensive involvement in community projects and as an art therapist, including work with marginalized people groups and youth at risk. 

Since early 2015, Brigid has been facilitating the Art Group hosted through Urban Seed, known as the Art Beat Project. Each month the group chooses a specific medium of artistic practice to explore together. So far topics have included poetry & creative writing, clay sculpture, drawing, collage, candle-making, and photography. The weekly meetings are attended by 10-15 regular participants who gather with the intention of sharing community whilst engaging in artistic practice & creative expression.


Jake Doleschal

Engagement Co-ordinator

Communications co-Ordinator

A Mornington Peninsula local at heart, Jake enjoys all things beach. Passionate about social change, Jake is interested in supporting young people finding pathways into local communities that are engaged in justice, personal, and societal transformation. He also works as an outdoor adventure guide and an educator, and currently studies Theology and Arts. Jake is enjoying being recently married to his beautiful wife Kristen and is always interested in a good old fashioned game of chess.


Emily Pompetti

Finance and HR Administration Officer

Emily is passionate about creating community. She loves to see people included and engaged in relationship – particularly those on the outskirts of society. Emily is passionate about intentional discipleship, and about actively developing a culture of connection and belonging amongst young people. Emily joined Urban Seed in 2017, and currently studies Law and Accounting. She loves hearing peoples’ stories, and is always up for a coffee and a good laugh.


Jo Askham

Finance Manager

Finance Manager at Urban seed and bringer of community to life through birth support, events, knowledge and advocacy. Her finance foundation comes from a strong background in corporate accounting, training and computer consultancy, but is also amplified by working with not-for-profits and committees in and around children and birth. Jo moonlights as a doula and website concocter and organises broad ranging events such as family communal camps, dance nights, workshops and support circles. Jo was down to working with Urban Seed as an organisation that seeks to develop capacity and build community in a way that aligns strongly with her own values.


evan_morgan.png

Evan Morgan

Bookings Co-ordinator
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.


blythe.png

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.  


Mike Cutter

IT OFFICER
Educator - Youth and schools team

Mike is married to Alison and has four kids who are of course the finest people you’ll ever meet. Growing up amongst indigenous communities in Central Australia and then moving to one of the richest suburbs in Melbourne gave him strong opinions about injustice in Australian society, and that’s become focused on building community amongst young people. Mike serves Urban Seed by managing our IT and educating young people for our Youth & Schools department. Easily bored, Mike is also a youth worker for Hawthorn West Baptist Church (www.hwbc.org.au), manages an under-18s venue SUB (www.sub.org.au), has a sideline in graphic & web design and is studying child & adolescent mental health!


Photo-Michael-Wilkerson_Cropped.jpg

MICHAEL WILKERSON

Educator - Youth and Schools Team 

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 then as a resident. I feel extremely privileged to work alongside a group of passionate individuals who care for those experiencing disadvantage. 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.


MADDIE GANGE

Educator - Youth and Schools Team 

Maddie joined Urban Seed in 2017 and is excited about the potential of young people and their drive for social change. She has studied International Development, and worked in the education and refugee settlement sectors, both in Australia and internationally. Restless at heart, she can usually be found on an outdoors adventure in a different culture or at home with a cup of tea, good book and her dog.