The Team

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Kate Soulsby - Carlton Manager, CommUnications & Finance

When not managing the Carlton Market, Kate can be found at Ceres Fair Food. It's safe to say her life is filled with vegetables - just the way she likes it. When not at work Kate loves brewing and experimenting with ferments and food in her kitchen, sharing food, drinks and laughter with friends or out in the hills walking, foraging or trail running in the sunshine. Originally from New Zealand, Kate now calls Melbourne home. The amazing diversity of people and culture is what keeps her here (and the coffee doesn't hurt).


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Leila Alexandra - Operations Manager

Leila grew up on an organic permaculture farm in Gippsland, which nurtured her passion for good healthy food and fascination with the way societies, cultures and environments interact. She has worked as a language teacher; managed her family farm; helped Ethiopian farmers improve livelihoods though sustainable land management; and taught sustainability programs at CERES.

Her favourite vegetable is cucumber – she eats them whole and likes to hear them go crunch!


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Greta - Fitzroy & Flemington Manager

Food is definitely a theme in Greta’s life, whether it’s gardening, foraging, cooking feasts, making sauces and ferments or making sculptures out of fruit and vegetables… She doesn’t really do favourites but gets excited about produce with noses and cool hairstyles.

Her other interests are far reaching. She’s into everything to do with grassroots social change and since her studies in community development she’s worked on gender equity and community inclusion projects. She’s also a shoemaker and loves all things crafty as well as circus, dancing, singing, reading, writing and spending time in the bush.


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Tamsin Hadfield - Pakenham Manager

Tamsin has a lot to do with food in her local area of the Cardinia Shire. As well as running our Pakenham market, she’s a food animator at the Cardinia Movement. She’s got a lot to do with food in her spare time too! When Tamsin isn’t at the market she can be found at the Community Garden or filling free food pantries and loves cooking new and interesting meals for her family. She loves fruit especially white nectarines and the only veg she really doesn’t like is parsnip.


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Heather Seely - FAWKNER MANAGER

With a background in nutrition and Master's degree in food sustainability, it's safe to say that 99% of the thoughts that run through Heather's mind are food-related. Originally from the United States, Heather pinoneered The Community Grocer's pedal-powered produce veggie box delivery scheme. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and eating, dabbling in food growing, and exploring all that her new home has to offer.

Her favourite veg is what inspired her to try to grow some of her own food - heirloom tomatoes, so she could eat them like apples.


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Brendan Garrett – Carlton Garden Coordinator/Pedal-Powered Co-facilitator

Brendan delivers veggie boxes around Carlton on his trusty bicycle and manages the Edible Garden at Carlton Primary School, providing weekly produce for the Carlton Market and running the ‘Garden Club’, teaching sustainability and food growing techniques.

A passionate supporter of local food, sustainability and re-connecting people with food systems, Brendan developed a love for growing food after WWOOFing on organic farms. His has a Master’s degree in Environment and Sustainability, does advocacy work for Oxfam, and grows backyard produce for restaurants and food sharing initiatives.  

His favourite vegetable is probably the pumpkin because he loves finding surprise pumpkins hidden among the vines and watching it take over the garden.

The Board

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RusselL Shields – Founder and Chair

Russell is a food system specialist with a strong community engagement and project management background and a focus on food access and innovative enterprise development.

In 2013 Russell was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study `International models of food rescue and community food initiatives that address food security for vulnerable populations’, in 2014 received a Social Enterprise Grant from the City of Melbourne to establish TCG, and in late 2017 was awarded a scholarship from the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation to attend the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch.

Russell has a slight obsession with lemons and chillies. Luckily his Greek neighbour has the best lemon tree in Melbourne, which he occasionally plunders.

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Dr. Rebecca Lindberg - Director

In 2015 Rebecca completed her PhD thesis research on household food insecurity in Australia and is a mixed methods public health researcher with applied and academic experience, and expertise in not-for-profit food programs, social and health policy, nutrition inequities and chronic disease prevention. 

Currently a Lecturer at Deakin University teaching and researching food systems, sustainability, nutrition and food policy, Rebecca is also the Co-Convener of the Right to Food Coalition.

Rebecca's favourite fruit and vegetable are raspberries and green beans (although best enjoyed separately!)


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Hilary McNevin - Director

Hilary McNevin worked front-of-house for 15 years, managing restaurants and studying wine in Australia and the UK before shifting careers and becoming a food writer and events planner. 

Hilary’s work appears Goodfood.com.au, The Age, SBS Food Online, The Australian, Winestate magazine, The Weekly Review  and Broadsheet.com.au. And she has also co-authored The Atlantic at Home with chef Donovan Cooke, edited the award-winning Temples of BBQ by Lance Rosen and back in 2008 she wrote Guide to Fish: Choosing and Cooking Sustainable Species which set her on a path to explore sustainable and ethical business practices particularly in the hospitality industry. 

Hilary’s favourite vegetable is silverbeet - an ingredient she feels is very underrated - and never leaves home without an apple in her bag (season pending, of course). 


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Georgia Savage - Director

Georgia started as a volunteer and worked her way up to become General Manager at The Community Grocer. Since moving to the country, she's taken a step back operationally but it very happy to be on the Board. 

Georgia's background is in international development and health. She has a keen interest in permaculture and a very big green thumb. Her favourite vegetable is kale - she knows that sounds like a lie but it seriously is!


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Belinda La Rocca

Belinda is a lawyer and works at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission as a Senior Legal Adviser. She has previously worked within the social justice sector, at Victoria Legal Aid and the Public Interest Law Clearinghouse (now Justice Connect). Belinda joined TCG board in 2017 and was attracted to the organisation's purpose and values. She believes in TCG's mission to provide affordable food access for everyone. She feels privileged to be part of an important organisation and to be working alongside intelligent, dedicated and inspiring people. In her spare time she loves to cook, and she is determined to stop buying overpriced and packaged produce from supermarkets. In her utopia she would be entirely self sufficient with fresh produce. If she had to pick her favourite fruit/vegetable (there are so many), it would be eggplant.


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Leah Supple

As a small business owner working in Public Practice for the past 18 years Leah regularly engages with small business owners (clients) from a range of industries, including start-ups, which has provided her with a strong insight and understanding of issues The Community Grocer faces.  She shares her extensive knowledge and experience, working closely to further develop TCG business, including assisting them in identifying their business goals and growth strategies, establishing financial plans and budgets and developing their confidence to undertake additional work.
 
Observing a lack of opportunity in her previous workplace for small business owners to receive advice on their own business, she joined the Small Business Mentoring Service. As a Mentor, she was engaged by Georgia at the Community Grocer to review their accounting and was subsequently ask to join the board.
 
Solutions focused, resourceful and engaging, she welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the other board members to contribute to the ongoing success of the Community grocer.